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Full text of "An unpublished essay of Edwards on the Trinity, with remarks on Edwards and his theology"



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Unpublished essay of Edwards on the Trin 


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Cornell University 

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the Cornell University Library. 

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Published, October, 1903 














The major part of the manuscripts of Jonathan Ed- 
wards was for a good while in the hands of the late 
Professor Edwards A. Park, for him to use in compos- 
ing a biography of Edwards which he had projected — 
— a task for which that eminent theological teacher was 
in many respects admirably qualified. This under- 
taking, however, owing to his advanced age and his high 
ideal of what the proposed biography should be, was 
not carried by him beyond its early preparatory stages. 
On his decease, in accordance with an arrangement 
made a number of years before with the representative 
of the Edwards family, by whom the papers had been 
lent to Professor Park, they were transferred permar 
nently to Yale University. 

One of the manuscripts thus received, printed from 
a careful transcription, forms the concluding Part of 
the present volume. The sketch of the principal events 
in the life of the Author, and the characteristics of his 
theology, which forms the Introduction, I have thought 
would not be unwelcome, especially as the Fifth of Oc- 
tober, 1903, is the two-hundredth anniversary of his 
birth. Prior to the more general Introduction, some 
statements pertaining to the literary history of the trea- 
tise which follows it will not be out of place. 


Most of the persons who are interested in theological 
inquiries can hardly fail to be desirous to ascertain what 
were the thoughts of so great a theologian as Jonathan 
Edwards on the subject of the Trinity. A half-century 
ago, rumors were afloat concerning an Essay on this 
subject which was represented to exist in manuscript 
among his unpublished papers. As early as 1851 Dr. 
Bushnell called for the publication of a manuscript 
"treatise" from the pen of Edwards, which had been 
described to him as an " a priori argument for the Trin- 
ity," that would occasion surprise were it suffered to 
appear in print. 1 In 1880, Dr. 0. W. Holmes also com- 
plained that the custodians of the Edwards manuscripts 
chose to withhold from the public an Essay which, he 
had been assured on "unquestionable authority," was 
in "the direction of Arianism or Sabellianism." 2 A few 
years later (about 1885), in an article in Herzog's Real- 
Encyclopadie, 3 Professor Calvin E. Stowe referred to 
an unpublished manuscript of Edwards on the Trinity 
in a manner to indicate that he had examined it, since 
he declares it to be a very able and carefully com- 
posed dissertation manifesting boldness and indepen- 

The same year new light was thrown on this topic by 
Professor Egbert C. Smyth's publication from a copy, 
which had been made long before, of a manuscript of 

1 Bushnell, Christ in Theology, p. vi. 

* International Review (1880), also Pages from an Old Volume of 
Life, p. 397. 

3 Quoted by Professor A. G. Allen, Jonathan Edwards (1889), 
p. 341. 


Edwards, which is entitled in its printed form "Ob- 
servations concerning the Scripture (Economy of the 
Trinity and Covenant of Redemption." The Essay 
itself is brief, containing about 800 words, but it is con- 
cise, and is in the characteristic style of Edwards. This 
small volume is increased in value by the scholarly in- 
troduction and notes of the Editor. As he remarks, 
however, it is not a "treatise" — the term used in the 
citation above from Dr. Bushnell. It deals with only 
one branch of the subject, which is more fully treated 
by its Author elsewhere. The topic of the "Observa- 
tions" is the mutual relation of the Persons of the Trinity 
with reference to the supposed Covenant of Redemp- 
tion. It manifests no leaning towards Arianism or any. 
other of the types of opinion usually characterized as 

In 1865 an important manuscript of Edwards was 
edited in Scotland and printed there for private cir- 
culation, by Rev. A. B. Grosart, 1 who had obtained it 
in America at a time when he had intended to prepare 
a collective edition of the works of Edwards. This 
"Treatise on Grace," which is the title given it, com- 
prises a full discussion of the Scriptural Doctrine of 
the Holy Spirit. It considers at length both the rela- 
tion of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son, and 
the function and agency of the Spirit in the work of re- 
demption. Under this last head, it is maintained that 
the presence and agency of the Holy Spirit is one and 

1 Selections from the Unpublished Writings of Jonathan Edwards^ 
p. 19 ff. 


the same with the indwelling of God in the souls of 
believers, and is the bond connecting them with Christ, 
as in the immanent relations of the Deity it unites the 
Father and the Son. 

A notable and almost epoch-making contribution 
on the writings and opinions of Edwards concerning 
the Trinity appeared in 1881, in two Articles— forming 
a connected whole — in the Bibliotheca Sacra, from the 
pen of Professor Edwards A. Park. In the first Article 
are copious extracts from the "Monthly Review" (April 
1751) in which were recorded passages from "The Philo- 
sophical Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion," 
by the Chevalier Ramsay — a work published shortly 
before. Ramsay was a Scotchman by birth, with a 
strong taste and corresponding talent for metaphysical 
speculation. He espoused successive phases of religious 
thought and belief, passing from orthodox Protestantism 
through Deism and, later, Scepticism, into the Roman 
Catholic Church. He resided for a considerable time 
in France, and was for a part of this period in close 
intercourse with Fenelon and under his influence. At 
the widest remove from many of Ramsay's religious 
tenets, Edwards approved, as concurrent with his 
own, the views which Ramsay set forth, in his book, 
of the infinitude of God, of His activity as eternal and 
not originating in anything external but from within ; 
of the analogy, up to a limit in measure, of that activity, 
in the human mind ; of the three distinctions in the Deity, 
coequal in all things, self-origination only excepted. In 
the second Article Professor Park adverts to the refer- 


ence that he had made in the first l to a manuscript of 
Edwards containing "remarks on the Trinity," which, 
he had there said, " has been mislaid and cannot yet be 
found"; 2 although he also observes: "Within the last 
few months, and particularly the last few weeks, I have 
found writings of Edwards and memoranda of my own 
which enable me to. say with assurance what I could 
not have said without much diffidence. They have 
enabled me to recognize what without them I could not 
exactly recall" Later, in the second Article, 3 Professor 
Park proceeds to give, from notes, some account of the 
contents of the "mislaid," and not yet recovered, Essay. 
After an interval, the vanished Essay turned up in a 
place not open to observation, into which, as Professor 
Park explained, it had accidentally fallen. He had it 
transcribed with much painstaking, and at his own ex- 
pense. This was read in his presence by several of his 
clerical friends of high standing, or read to them. Notes 
were made of its contents by at least one of them. The 
Professor evidently had not a shadow of doubt of its 
identity with the mislaid and later discovered docu- 
ment which was still in his possession. It was manifest 
that he knew nothing of the existence of any other manu- 
f script of Edwards to be regarded in any just sense as a 
rival of that which is printed in this volume. He con- 
sidered this Essay, likewise, to be none other than the 
Writing of Edwards on the Trinity the publication of 
which had been repeatedly called for. There is some 
difficulty arising from a seeming want of harmony be- 
1 P. 147. a P. 187, note. • P. 359 £ 


tween certain expressions in the notes of Professor Park 
in the Bibliotheca Sacra article and this Essay which had 
been found and recognized by him as the lost manuscript. 
In the description in the Article, he speaks of the Essay 
as divided into two parts. The phraseology, also, of some 
citations in the notes does not coincide with that Essay. 
As to the first point, however, the expression in the 
sketch in the notes is: "That [mislaid] Essay was di- 
vided in fact though not in form into two parts." As to 
particular discrepancies, Professor Park, in the Article l 
refers, as the basis of his description of the mislaid Es- 
say, not only to "memoranda of my [his] own," but 
also, to other writings of Edwards which he had not 
found before, but which now helped him " to recognize 
what he could not exactly recall. 77 Moreover, in the 
course of this sketch, he refers 2 briefly to language which 
Edwards in other writings had applied to the several 
Persons of the Trinity, and he quotes from one of his [Ed- 
wards's] manuscripts a sentence on " the eternal gener- 
ation of the Son." 3 On the next page, also, in a note on 
"The Observations" of Edwards on the Trinity, edited 
by Professor E.'C. Smyth, he remarks that Edwards 
was wont to pen his thoughts as they occurred to him; 
that he often expressed substantially the same thoughts 
in different manuscripts. He adds: "The present writ- 
er's remembrances of the Essay and some peculiar words 
in it," inserted in the sketch of it, correspond with the 
'Observations' as published by Professor Smyth." It 
appears to me a reasonable supposition that, mingled 

» P. 187. a p. 360. »P. 361, note 3. 


with the Professor's notes which had been pencilled in 
the perusal of the Essay, were memoranda derived else- 
where from Edwards, and that a confusion of notes from 
different sources, which might readily occur, was the 
occasion of the variations that have been mentioned. 

Which of the several writings of Edwards it was that 
provoked so much curiosity, and was now and then im- 
agined to inculcate opinions at variance with orthodox 
tenets is really a question of minor consequence, and 
this for the simple reason that with respect to none of 
them was there any ground for such an imputation or 
suspicion. It appears to me probable that one reason 
why certain proprietors and editors of writings of Ed- 
wards hesitated about the publication of a dissertation 
from his pen on the Trinity was the view, which Ed- 
wards held and defended, of the subordination of Persons 
in the Divine Being — the eternal generation of the Son 
being a primary element in his faith. He was no more 
tinctured with Arianism and other types of opinion 
under the ban of the principal organized churches than 
the oecumenical creeds are thus tinctured, as well as the 
creeds of the orthodox doctors of theology generally in 
the ancient and later periods of Church History. But 
with the expiration of the century in which Edwards 
lived, the Nicene doctrine of the eternal generation of 
the Son ceased to exist any longer as a part of New Eng- 
land orthodoxy. It was not only discarded by its lead- 
ers, but it was often openly repudiated, and sometimes 
with derision. There is no occasion for surprise, if 
reports of what Edwards had written on the subject 


should make an impression within as well as without the 
local schools of orthodoxy, that unpublished writings 
of the foremost of the New England divines on this sub- 
ject were not wholly free from a taint of heterodoxy. 
With the renunciation of the philosophy on the subject 
which was received and expounded by Edwards, and 
with the ideas of the later New England schools on the 
subject, Professor Park, despite his profound respect 
for his genius and, in general, for his teachings, was in 
full accord. Hence, the philosophical parts of the ex- 
positions of the Trinity by Edwards, and such of his 
Biblical interpretations as corresponded to them, did 
not win from him concurrence or. sympathy. 

From these circumstances it appears to me that the 
question which of the several compositions of Edwards 
on the doctrine of the Trinity was suspected of contain- 
ing heresy, or whether it was either of them exclusively 
that was subject to this imputation or surmise, are ques- 
tions of minor importance, and that the same may be 
said of the question, should it be mooted, which of them 
was mislaid and found in Professor Park's dwelling. 
The composition of it was evidently gradual and ex- 
tended over a long period, from time to time. As will be 
seen by the reader, interpolations of a few lines were 
inserted in the first draft, and, besides these, additions, 
here and there, of considerable length. The perusal 
of the manuscript calls to mind his Letters to the Trus- 
tees of Princeton College, in which he explains his habit- 
ual method of pursuing his studies and of recording, as 
he went on, their results, with an eye to the publication 


of treatises on the subjects which he considered most 
timely and important. The Essay on the Trinity shows 
the rapidity with which his pen moved, and as far as the 
forming of sentences and other matters of style are con- 
cerned would have been doubtless subjected to a great 
deal of revision had he set out to mould it for the press. 
The Writings published by Edwards in his lifetime suf- 
ficiently manifest the external literary features of his 
style. An intermediate class, e.g., the History of Redemp- 
tion, were composed not without care, but are not only 
less elaborate in the contents, but in style lack the Auth- 
or's finishing touches. It appears to me judicious to 
present the present Essay to the reader just as it stands. 
I do not propose to subject its doctrinal teaching to crit- 
cism, but, if I am not mistaken, even in its present form, 
it will be deemed lucid in its course of thought, and one 
of the ablest arguments of this species which the History 
of Doctrine affords in behalf of fundamental positions 
of the Nicene theology. The Paper in the present vol- 
ume, as far as I am qualified to judge, is decidedly the 
most comprehensive and complete discussion of the 
doctrine on all sides that emanated from its author. 

G. P. F. 





Remarks on Edwards and His Theology ... 1 


An Unpublished Essay of Edwards on the 
Trinity 75 


Note 1. — The Dismissal of Edwards from the 
Church in Northampton 137 

Note 2 The Account Given by Edwards of 

His Method of Study 139 

Note 3. — Augustine on the Trinity as Imaged 
Eorth in the Human Mind 139 

Note 4. — President T. D. Woolsey on the Per- 
sonal Traits and the Influence of Ed- 
wards 140 





In the Yale Alumni Catalogue, in the list of 
the ten who compose the class of 1720, stands the 
name of Jonathan Edwards. He was the only son 
in a family of eleven children. On graduating, 
he was not quite seventeen years of age. The 
valedictory address was assigned to him. In 
this address the College is warmly praised. The 
prediction is even ventured that the day will come 
when students will resort to it from foreign lands. 
The accession in recent years of students from 
oriental countries is a verification of the proph- 
ecy in a sense then wholly an unconscious ele- 
ment in the author's vaticination. His father, by 
whom he was fitted for college, was the minis- 
ter of East Windsor, Connecticut, was a graduate 
of Harvard, and had kept up his habits of study. 
He was respected as a preacher, and was regarded 
as a man of polished manners. Intellectually he 
was thought to be excelled by his wife, who was 



educated in Boston, and was highly esteemed for 
her mental vigor and her acquirements, as well as 
for her gentle and affable ways. The son remained 
in New Haven nearly two years, engaged in studies 
preparatory for the ministry. The greater por- 
tion of the next two years he spent in preaching 
to a small Presbyterian church in New York. In 
the closing part of this interval he was again at 
his studies in college, where he was a tutor for a 
third period of two years. It was in New Haven, 
when at the age of twenty, that he married the 
beautiful and saintly young woman whom, when 
she was thirteen years old, he had depicted, not 
in verse, yet in a strain which recalls the lines of 
Milton in H Penseroso, — 

With, even step and musing gait, 
And looks commercing with the skies, 
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes. 

" They say " — thus he wrote — " there is a young 
lady in New Haven who is beloved of that great 
Being who made and rules the world, and that 
there are certain seasons in which this great Being 
in some way or other invisible, comes to her and 
fills her mind with exceeding sweet delight, and 
that she hardly cares for anything except to 
meditate on Him ; that she expects after a while 


to be received up where He is, to be raised up out 
of the world and caught up into heaven ; being 
assured that He loves her too well to let her re- 
main at a distance from Him always. There she is 
to dwell with Him, and to be ravished with His 
love and delight forever. Therefore if you pre- 
sent all the world before her, with the richest of 
its treasures, she disregards and cares not for it, 
and is unmindful of any pain or affliction. She 
has a strange sweetness in her mind, and singular 
purity in her affections ; is most just and conscien- 
tious in all her conduct, and you could not per- 
suade her to do anything wrong or sinful if you 
would give her all the world, lest she should 
offend this great Being. She is of a wonderful 
calmness, and universal benevolence of mind, es- 
pecially after this great Grod has manifested Him- 
self to her mind. She will sometimes go about 
from place to place singing sweetly, and seems to 
be always full of joy and pleasure, and no one 
knows for what. She loves to be alone, walking 
in the fields and groves, and seems to have some 
one invisible always conversing with her." 1 

When she was seventeen, shortly after the or- 
dination of Edwards at Northampton, she became 

1 Dwight, Works of Eckocwds> with Memoir^ Vol. I., p. 114. 


his wife. The description given above of her traits 
shows us likewise the traits and spirit of its au- 
thor. It discloses the qualities which developed 
in her a type of religious experience closely akin 
to his own. At last, a little before his death, he 
sent this message to her, who was at a distance 
and could not be with him, by his daughter who 
was at his bedside : " Give my kindest love to my 
dearest wife, and tell her that the uncommon 
union which has so long subsisted between us, has 
been of such a nature, as, I trust, is spiritual, and 
therefore will continue forever." l 

For two or three months prior to his death, 
which occurred in 1758, he held the office of Presi- 
dent of the College of New Jersey — now Princeton 
University. With this exception New England re- 
mained the exclusive theatre of his life and work. 

Edwards is one of the most astonishing examples 
of precocious mental development of which we 
have any record. One parallel instance is fur- 
nished in the early life of Pascal. If Edwards did 
not exhibit the mathematical talent so marked in 
the boyhood of Pascal, he manifested, in connec- 
tion with other remarkable intellectual traits, a 
surprising capacity for observations in natural 

1 S. E. Dwight, Works of Edwards, with Memoir, Vol. I., p. 578. 


science. Before he had reached his twelfth birth- 
day, he wrote a paper on the Flying Spider which is 
really a well-reasoned scientific essay on the habits 
of this insect. He ascertained these by his own 
most accurate observations. Of this paper, a com- 
petent scientific authority, Dr. Packard of Brown 
University, remarks : The writer " has anticipated 
modern observers, who so far as I know have not 
added much to his statements." 

It was not the sphere of matter in itself con- 
sidered, but predominantly the phenomena of 
mind, that excited his interest and fascinated his 
attention. In his fifteenth year he read that epoch- 
making book, Locke's " Essay concerning Human 
Understanding." To use his own words, he read it 
with a delight greater "than the most greedy 
miser finds when gathering up handfuls of silver 
and gold from some newly discovered treasure." * 
When a Sophomore in College, fourteen years old, 
he wrote down reflections under the title " Being," 
in which he brings out the idealistic conception 
of matter. Not long after he reproduced it in a 
more full and careful form. While in College, he 
opened note-books, one of which was entitled 
" Mind," and another was upon " Natural Philoso- 

1 Dwight, ut supra, Vol. 1^ p. 30. 


phy." Both give evidence of extraordinary 
powers of reasoning and of observation, and this 
in the sections the composition of which falls 
within the limit of his undergraduate days. 

These early manuscripts contained outlines and 
specific heads of a projected work on the universe, 
material and mental. Through life, he was ac- 
customed to do as Pascal did in the case of the 
Pens6es — to set down thoughts and outlines to 
serve as materials for works to be composed later. 
In the interesting letter which he wrote to the 
Trustees of Princeton College, giving the reasons 
why he felt reluctant to take the office of Presi- 
dent — which he concluded to accept — he explains 
that he had always been accustomed to study 
with pen in hand, recording his best thoughts on 
countless subjects. One of the uses to which they 
were put I have just stated. The spirit in which 
he studied is seen in the resolutions and diaries 
which have been preserved. Among the resolu- 
tions which, before he was twenty, he wrote for 
his own benefit is this : " Eesolved, when I think 
of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immedi- 
ately to do what I can toward solving it, if cir- 
cumstances do not hinder." We meet with this 
entry in his diary a little later; " I observe that 


old men seldom have any advantage of new dis- 
coveries, because they are beside the way of 
thinking to which they have been so long used. 
Resolved, if ever I live to [advanced] years, that 
I will be impartial to hear the reasons of all pre- 
tended discoveries, and receive them if rational, 
how long soever I have been used to another way 
of thinking." l 

Edwards, his life long, was an interested reader, 
not only of standard works of his time, as well as 
of earlier treatises, and was diligent in the exam- 
ination of the writings of authors against whom he 
contended, but likewise of productions, not a few, 
of a non-theological class. In a manuscript quarto, 
entitled, in his own hand-writing, " Catalogue," 
we find, with titles of books which he heard of, 
lists of books " to be read or to be inquired for." 2 
In the earliest of these records, among such 
books as Baxter's Life, and Watts's Poems, are 
The Guardian, Milton's Paradise Lost, Luther's 
Colloquies, Quarles's Poems, Newton's Principia 
and Opticks, Plutarch's Lives, Cowper's Anato- 
my, Walter Ealeigh's History. Some — Locke, for 
instance — are probably set down to be re-read. 

1 Dwight, ui supra, Vol. I., p. 94; comp. p. 71. 
3 Its contents are set forth by Professor Dexter, The Manuscripts, 
of Jonathan Edwards^ pp. 15, 16. 


Books to be obtained include " the best " books 
on Geography, Church History, Chronology, His- 
torical Dictionary, of the nature of Bayle's work, 
the Lives of the Philosophers. Later entries are 
Pope's Homer, and his Miscellaneous Works, The 
Spectator, Addison's Writings, Young's Night 
Thoughts, Richardson's Clarissa and Pamela, F6ne- 
lon's Telemachus, Fielding's Amelia, and, later, an 
Abridgment of Johnson's Dictionary. 

That Edwards stands, as he deserves to stand, 
in the front rank of philosophical thinkers and 
of theologians is too generally conceded at the 
present day to require any demonstration. 

Unquestionably he is to be associated with 
Berkeley and Hume, as one of the three greatest 
metaphysical thinkers of the English race in the 
eighteenth century. The verdict written a good 
while ago by Dugald Stewart will be sanctioned 
by judges qualified to speak. After the remark 
that Edwards is the only philosopher of note whom 
America had produced, Stewart adds : " In logical 
acuteness and subtility, he does not yield to any 
disputant bred in the universities of Europe." l His 
power of subtle argument is pronounced by Sir 
James Mackintosh, who was not given to over- 

1 Progress of Philosophy (1820), p. 206, 


statement, " to have been unmatched, certainly 
unsurpassed, among men." 1 Robert Hall, one of 
the ablest English preachers of the last century, a 
fellow-student of Mackintosh, in the enthusiasm of 
his admiration of the genius of Edwards, styled 
him "the greatest of the sons of men." " I have 
long esteemed him," wrote Chalmers, one of the 
princes among Scottish divines, " as the greatest of 
theologians." 2 One of the most emphatic of the 
eulogists of Edwards is the leader of a school 
quite diverse from that of Chalmers, Frederic D. 
Maurice. Critics, of whom Sir Leslie Stephen 
and Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes are examples, 
with commendable candor, in conjunction with an 
unmingled antipathy to Edwards's theological sys- 
tem and to a class of inferences deduced by him 
from it, recognize his intellectual superiority and 
his exalted moral worth. 3 Stephen speaks of him as 
"the ablest of American thinkers," and, like many 
others, couples his name with that of Franklin as 
the two foremost writers of the earlier period. If, 
says Stephen, qualities are to be traced to inherit- 
ance, then the element of mother wit, characteris- 

1 Progress of Ethical Pfiilosophy, p. 69. 
' 2 Works, Vol. I., p. 285. 

8 Holmes, in Pages from an Old Volume of Life (1891), XI. ; pp. 
365, etal.; pp. 395, 400. 


tic of " the Yankee," lias its normal representative 
in Franklin, and that of " transcendental enthusi- 
asm " in Edwards. The same author writes that 
on " the living truths " that formed a part of his 
theory is founded " a religious and moral system 
of morality which, however erroneous it may ap- 
pear to some thinkers, is conspicuous for its vigor 
and loftiness. Edwards often shows himself a 
worthy successor of the great men who led the 
moral revolt of the Reformation ... he 
grasps the central truths on which all real noble 
morality must be based." Stephen not only pays 
honor to " the logical keenness of the great meta- 
physician," but, also, has words of praise for one 
who was an exception to the ordinary fact in that 
the solemn resolutions relative to character and 
conduct, made when he was " almost a boy," had 
in his case a meaning and bore corresponding re- 
sults. 1 Dr. Holmes remarks that "of all the 
scholars and philosophers that America had pro- 
duced" before the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, two only- [Franklin and Edwards] had 
established a considerable and permanent reputa- 
tion in the world of European thought. 2 In com- 

1 Stephen, in Fraser's Magazine, Nov., 1893, pp. 531, 536, et at. 
9 Holmes, p. 362. 


paring Edwards and Pascal, lie expresses the 
" hope that their spirits have met long ago in a 
better world, for each was a saintly being." He 
adds : " The feeling which naturally arises in con- 
templating the character of Jonathan Edwards is 
that of deep reverence for a man who seems to 
have been anointed from his birth ; who lived a 
life pure, laborious, self-denying, occupied with the 
highest themes, and busy in the highest kind of 
labor, — such a life as in another church might have 
given him a place in the c Acta Sanctorum.' " x 

The influence of Edwards has not only been 
powerfully felt in Scotland by leaders in theolog- 
ical thought. It has been felt likewise by prom- 
inent theologians in England. One of them in the 
century lately closed was Andrew Fuller. Vastly 
more might be said of the power exerted by him 
on theology in America. This is far from being 
limited to New England, although naturally it has 
been preeminent in this part of the country. The 
historian, Bancroft, writes : " He that would know 
the workings of the New England mind in the 
middle of the last p.&, the 18th] century, and the 
throbbings of its heart, must give his days and 
nights to the study of Jonathan Edwards." To 

1 Holmes, p. 462. 


this remark Professor Allen subjoins the just ob- 
servation : " He that would understand the signif- 
icance of later New England thought, must make 
Edwards the first object of his study." 1 Dr. 
Holmes quotes with apparent approval from Ban- 
croft — respecting the relations of Edwards to his 
" theological successors " — the names of Kirkland 
and Channing being included in the list, the re- 
mark that "his influence is discernible on every 
leading mind." 2 At home and abroad the influ- 
ence referred to in these citations was potent in 
spiritual life as well as in the particular province 
of theological opinion. 

In the critical analysis of the mental outfit of 
Edwards, it would be a gross mistake to overlook 
the spiritual insight and capacity of feeling, which 
is one part of the truth in the remark of Mackin- 
tosh concerning him, that he was a rationalist and 
a mystic. If these appellations are to be taken in 
the literal, current meaning, they require modifi- 
cation. He was a rationalist, if the purport of' the 
statement be that he had no low estimate of reason 
as an endowment of man. He has full confidence 
in the native powers of reason. He does not fly 

i Allen, Jonathan Edwards (an interesting and valuable biography), 
p. vi. 
9 Holmes, vi supra^ p. 362. 


from reason to betake himself to Scripture. In 
controversy he does not appeal from reason to any 
other tribunal. His position is that if reason is 
read aright there is no discord in it with Script- 
ure, but that the two authorities are in concord. 
The objection, coming from friend or foe, that a 
thesis or an argument is based on metaphysics or 
drawn from that source, he treats with disdain. 
He speaks of it as ridiculous. It were as prop- 
er, he says, to object to a course of argument 
on account of the language in which it is ex- 
pressed. " The question is not, whether what is 
said be metaphysics, physics, logic, or mathemat- 
ics, Latin, French, JEngHsTi, or M6ha%o\ but 
whether the reasoning bet good, and the argu- 
ments truly conclusive." * 

Yet, with all his confidence in the reasoning 
faculty, he is at a heaven- wide remove from any 
low esteem of distinctively spiritual intuitions 
and such experiences of the soul as, when fairly 
tested, are seen to be clear of morbid imagination 
or emotion. Few, if any, theologians have thought 
and written in a more independent spirit. He is 
subservient in his intellectual verdicts to no leader. 
He received more stimulus from Locke than from 

1 Treatise ontheWill, p. iv., §xiii.; Dwight, ut supra, Vol. IL, p. 275. 


any other philosopher. To him he owed fertile 
suggestions. But he differs from Locke on funda- 
mental points in philosophy. He rejected, for 
example, nominalism. His view of the sources of 
knowledge is the antipode of that of Locke. To 
his theological system in its central tenets he was 
directly adverse. Admitting that he might be 
called a Calvinist as distinguished from an Armin- 
ian, he disclaimed a dependence on Calvin, and at 
the same time asserted that with some of his in- 
culcations he did not agree. 1 He did not under : 
take to confute adversaries in opinion without a 
thorough personal examination of their writ- 
ings. To be sure, he did not feel bound, nor 
was it practicable for him, situated as he was, to 
read all the adherents of doctrines at variance 
with his own. To the accusation that on the 
question of free-will and necessity he was in 
agreement with Hobbes, he replies that he cannot 
answer the imputation, since "it happens" he 
had not read Hobbes. 2 Elsewhere, to the im- 
putation that a certain proposition or argument 
of his may be read in some heretical author, he 
says that the objection has no force : everything 
that a heretic believes is not of course erroneous. 

1 Treatise on the Will, Preface, p. 13. 2 Ibid.^ p. iv., § vi. 


As remarked above, on the nature of matter 
the idealism, which remained his creed through 
life, appears in his early essay on " Being," and it 
is definitely stated and advocated in one of the 
papers in the Notes on Mind, — in a part written 
probably while he was still a tutor in College. 

This belief was, to quote his own words, that 
" the substance of all bodies is the infinitely exact, 
and precise, and perfectly stable idea, in God's 
mind, together with His stable will that the same 
shall be gradually communicated to us and to 
other minds, according to certain fixed and exact 
established methods and laws ; or, in somewhat 
different language, the infinitely exact and precise 
Divine Idea, together with an answerable, per- 
fectly exact, precise and stable will, with respect 
to correspondent communications to created minds 
and effects on their minds." What is called the 
" substance " of material existences is asserted to be 
a fiction put in the place of God, of His ideas and 
consistent, constant will. Minds alone have sub- 
stantial being ; the Infinite Mind, and finite minds, 
which in Him "live and move and have their being." 

Edwards provided in his expositions a caveat 
against Pantheism, on which his theory of matter 
seems to verge. 


In the proposition that material things have 
no being independent of the perception of them 
either by God or by other mental beings whom 
He empowers to perceive them, Edwards is at 
one with Berkeley in the mature expression which 
Berkeley gave to his theory- 

The coincidence of the idealism of Edwards 
with that of Berkeley is so striking that not 
unnaturally it has been conjectured by critics, in- 
cluding Professor Fraser, his able and learned 
biographer, that it was from Berkeley that the 
youthful American philosopher imbibed his views. 
This, I may be allowed to say, was once my own 
impression. Further investigation of the question, 
however, has proved it to be in the highest degree 
probable that this inference is a mistaken one. 1 
It was owing to the powerful stimulus imparted 
to the young Yale student by the writings of 
Locke that he was prompted to move on in a path 
of his own, quite beyond any conclusion reached 
in Locke's quickening essay. The " new philoso- 
phy " to which Edwards afterwards refers with 
approval, appears to have been the publications 

1 In his recent edition of Berkeley's writings, Dr. Eraser says : " I 
am now less disposed to this conjecture than formerly." Vol. III., 
p. 393. 


of Sir Isaac Newton, the influence of which, in 
connection with that of Locke, was a notable spur 
in his intellectual progress. Nevertheless, the 
coupling of the names of Edwards and Berkeley 
in Yale University is for more than one reason 

It is fit and proper that the two most conspicu- 
ous memorial windows in the front wall of Battell 
Chapel should commemorate these two illustrious 
philosophers. The noble Bishop of Cloyne, a 
man lifted above all ecclesiastical prejudice, hav- 
ing been disappointed as to his project for found- 
ing in Bermuda a college for the education of 
Indians, not only established at Yale a Scholarship 
which bears his name, but also sent over to the 
College a gift of one thousand well-chosen vol- 
umes, — the largest single collection of books that 
had ever been brought to America. On the win- 
dow devoted to his honor, the words are in- 
scribed, "Hie Monumenta Posuit Animi Sui 
Liber alis" — "Here he placed memorials of his 
liberal spirit." He might smile, but his liberal 
mind would not be offended were he to read the 
words from the pen of Professor Thacher, on the 
Edwards window, the mate of his own : " Summi 
in Ecelesia OrcHnis Vates? President Dwight 


wanted to have the building that took the sur- 
name of "North Middle" called Berkeley Hall. 
It is well that Yale now has a dormitory building 
named after the prelate, to whom, as Pope tells 
us, was "ascribed every virtue under Heaven." 
President Clap was evidently disposed to adopt 
Berkeley's doctrine concerning matter. " This 
College," says the President " will always retain 
a most grateful sense of his Generosity and Merits ; 
and probably a favorable Opinion of his Idea of 
material Substance ; as not consisting in an un- 
known and inconceivable substratum but in a 
stated Union and Combination of Sensible Ideas, 
excited from without, by some Intelligent Being." 
The good President would have been gratified to 
see the modern trend of philosophical thought to- 
ward objective idealism, a tendency probably not 
without sympathy at Yale, even though the rea- 
sons for it and for the consequent homage to the 
genius of Berkeley, are not the presents he made 
to the College. 

I may be permitted to say that, time and again, as 
I have returned to the writings of Edwards, I have 
been increasingly struck with the variety as well 
as the superiority of his powers. In reading him 
I have called to mind by a natural association 


exalted names in the history of Christian Doc- 
trine — names of men who have illustrated this rare 
blending of light and heat, — such as Augustine 
and Aquinas, and, above all, Anselm. The treatise 
on the Will, a masterpiece of logic though it be, 
does not outrank in merit some other products of 
his pen of a different class. The essay on the Last 
End of God in Creation, and the essay on the Nat- 
ure of True Virtue, stand fully as high in the scale. 

Other productions of Edwards are also on the 
same high plane, but are likewise in a different vein 
from the more famous treatise on the "Will. Let 
any discerning student take up this treatise and 
observe the sharp, unrelenting logic with which 
the author hunts down his opponents, and then 
let him take up the same author's sermon on the 
Nature and Reality of Spiritual Light, or passages 
in his book on the Affections, or some of the ex- 
tracts from his Diary. It is like passing from the 
pages of Scotus or Aquinas to Thomas k Kempis, 
or St. Francis of Assisi. 

Those to whom the name of Edwards calls up 
only the image of a dry reasoner or of an austere 
preacher, presenting detailed pictures of the suffer- 
ings of lost souls, should read the meditations on 
the " beauty and sweetness " — I use his owii 


words — of divine things, when to his almost in- 
spired vision the whole face of nature was trans- 
figured. When still in his youth, there sprang up 
"a sense of divine things," after which, he tells us, 
"the appearance of everything was altered ; there 
seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet cast, or ap- 
pearance of divine glory in almost everything ; in 
the sun, moon and stars ; in the clouds and blue 
sky ; in the grass, flowers, trees ; in the water and 
all nature, which used greatly to fix my mind. I 
often used to sit and view the moon for a long 
time ; and in the day, spent much time in viewing 
the clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory of 
God in these things; in the meantime, singing 
forth with a low voice my contemplations of the 
Creator and Redeemer." 1 He would have sym- 
pathized with Wordsworth's Lines above Tintern 
Abbey, only infusing into them a more theistic 

tinge : 

I have felt 
A presence that disturbs me with the joy 
Gf elevated thought ; a sense sublime 
Of something far more deeply interfused, 

Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man. 

1 Dwight, ut supra,) Vol. I., p. 61. 


" I spent most of my time," lie continues, " think- 
ing of divine things, year after year ; often walk- 
ing alone in the woods and solitary places, for 
meditation, soliloquy and prayer," and converse 
with God. I was almost constantly in ejaculatory 
prayer, wherever I was." 

When a very young preacher in New York, as 
he relates, he " frequently used to retire into a 
solitary place on the banks of the Hudson River, 
at some distance from the city, for contemplation 
on divine things and secret converse with God, 
and had many sweet hours there. 1 Experiences of 
this character did not terminate. He speaks thus 
of an incident that occurred at Northampton : 
"Once as I rode out into the woods for my health, 
in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a re- 
tired place, as my manner commonly has been, to 
walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had 
a view, that for me was extraordinary, of the glory 
of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and 
man, and his wonderful great, full, pure and sweet 
grace and love, and meek and gentle condescen- 
sion. This grace that appeared so calm and sweet, 
appeared also great above the heavens. The per- 
son of Christ appeared ineffably excellent, with 

1 Dwight, ut supra. Vol. I. , p. 66. 


an excellency great enough to swallow up all 
thought and conception — which continued, as near 
as I can judge, about an hour ; which kept me, 
the greater part of the time, in a flood of tears, 
and weeping aloud ; I felt an ardency of soul to 
be, what I know not otherwise how to express, 
emptied and annihilated ; to lie in the dust and be 
full of Christ alone. To love him with a holy and 
pure love ; to trust in him ; to live upon him ; to 
serve and follow him ; and to be perfectly sancti- 
fied and made pure with a divine and heavenly 
purity. I have, several other times, had views 
very much of the same nature, and which have 
had the same effects." 1 

His Puritan ancestry, the character of his 
training, and the circumstances of the time con- 
spired to make it natural and almost inevitable 
that he should become the champion of Calvinism. 
The first settlers of New England — that is to say, 
the twenty-nine thousand Englishmen who planted 
these shores during the interval between the land- 
ing of the Pilgrims in 1620 and the assembling of 
the Long Parliament in 1640, when the immigra- 
tion practically ceased — shared to the full in the 
interest which prevailed in the home country in 

iPwight, Vol. I., p. 133 


the discussions, not merely on Church polity, but 
also on Christian theology. They were firm ad- 
herents of the Genevan type of doctrine. This 
had held almost undisputed sway in England 
through the reign of Elizabeth. The Institutes 
of Calvin had been virtually the text-book of the 
English Protestant Clergy. Even Hooker, the 
noblest expounder and champion of the Anglican 
Ecclesiastical system, while he deprecates the un- 
measured deference paid in England to Calvin's 
authority, pronounces a glowing eulogy upon him 
and his writings — declaring him to be " incompar- 
ably the greatest man whom the French Church" — 
the Protestant Church of France — "had produced." 
Calvin had achieved what no other before him 
had accomplished. He had organized the Protes- 
tant teaching into a compact and coherent system. 
It involved the complete abjuring of human 
merit in the process of salvation. It attributed to 
God and not to man's agency not only the Atone- 
ment, the ground of forgiveness, but also and 
equally the process of the victory over sin in the 
soul, from first to last. It discarded the idea that 
anything could occur, either in the world without 
or in the mind within, independently of the will 
and purpose of the Ruler of the universe. In this 


proposition was embodied what was the creed 
alike of the Genevan school, and of Luther and 
the early Lutherans. In the view of the Calvin- 
ists, predestination was presupposed in the sense 
of man's absolute dependence, in trust in the uni- 
versal control of Divine Providence, and in unmin- 
gled gratitude for grace as the fountain of all that 
is good in the soul. 

Whatever may be said of the Calvinistic creed, 
it breathed into its humblest adherents humility 
and courage, and inspired with valor and fortitude 
the heroic leaders, like Coligni, and William III., 
of whom Macaulay says : " The tenet of predesti- 
nation was the keystone of his religion. He even 
declared that if he were to abandon that tenet 
he must abandon with it all belief in a superin- 
tending Providence, and must become a mere 
Epicurean." 1 Calvinists have not piled tome 
upon tome of polemical writings, they have not 
pined in dungeons and faced death on the bat- 
tle-field, for a merely speculative notion. It was 
the practical truth which they identified with it 
as the logical equivalent of that belief, which 
made them cling to it with unyielding tenacity. 
But no wonder that unanimity in this solution 

'History of England, Vol. II. (Am. Ed.), p. 149. 


of the old problem of liberty and necessity, a 
theme of debate since the dawn of speculation, 
could not be kept up in the ranks of those who 
had accepted it. 

When New England was colonized, not only 
disagreement with minor features of Calvinism 
but open dissent from the characteristic principle 
of unconditional election, was gaining ground in 
Calvinistic communities. As late as 1618, dele- 
gates had been sent by James I., himself a Cal- 
vinist, to Holland, to aid at the Synod of Dort in 
the erection of barriers to the spread of the Ar- 
minian revolt. But as far as the Church of Eng- 
land was concerned, such resistance was ineffect- 
ual. Independently of their Calvinism, the New 
England colonists of Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut, in common with the whole body of Puritans 
in the motherland, were sworn foes of an illiterate 
ministry. This antipathy, more than ever rea- 
sonable in the circumstances in which they found 
themselves, far away from the ancient seats of 
learning, was mixed with a well-founded fear lest 
their posterity should sink into ignorance and be 
cursed with unenlightened teachers of the Gospel. 
This apprehension was keenly felt by the not 
less than eighty ministers, of whom not less than 


half had been trained in the colleges of Oxford 
and Cambridge, and who, it is not an exaggera- 
tion to say, beyond any other source of influence 
made New England what it became. 

This was the prime cause of the founding of 
Harvard in 1636, and, when, at the close of the 
century, the distance of western New England 
from Cambridge was felt to be too great, it was 
the prime motive in the founding of Yale. Both 
at Harvard and Yale, theology naturally had the 
place of honor in the curriculum. The text- 
books in doctrine — for example, Wollebius and 
Ames — are chiefly known at present only to in- 
quisitive theological students. These books were 
not wanting in acumen and logical strength, but 
they belong among the dry products of the 
waning era of Protestant Scholasticism, and were 
long ago consigned to the sepulchre of that solid 
but unpalatable species of literature. 

In the first period after the foundation of Yale, 
Hebrew, like Greek and Latin, was a required 
study. In the College laws printed in 1748, it 
was ordained that systematic divinity should be 
taught to all the classes, and that the Westminster 
Confession should be one of the text-books that 
all the classes, " through the whole time of their 


college life " should recite. This branch, the prop- 
er name of which is dogmatic theology or philo- 
sophical theology, had a very marked precedence 
in the circle of studies for the ministry. The 
natural direction of thought, especially in the con- 
flicts of the early days, will account for the pre- 
eminence accorded to this discipline. Under this 
head, in American Church history, the movement 
which was styled, from the place of its origin and 
principal seat, New England Theology, at the out- 
set often called the a New Divinity," is the most 
original development, and, on the whole, the most 
influential. With this movement, in its inception 
and its later stages, Yale College is identified. 
There all of its noted leaders, with one exception, 
were educated. It is the movement the rise of 
which stands in historic connection with the so- 
called Great Revival of 1740, and is linked to the 
name of the most illustrious of American philos- 
ophers and divines. At a very early date, if not 
from the beginning, the custom arose for resident 
graduates to prosecute studies preparatory for the 
ministry. From the year 1755, this class of pu- 
pils were able to receive theological instruction 
from the Professor of Divinity. 

In the youth of Edwards the reaction against 


the characteristic points of Calvinism was well 
under way even in New England, especially in 
the eastern portion. Arminianism in the preceding 
century, planted and nourished by leaders of the 
talents and learning of Arminius, Episcopius, and 
Grotius, had planted itself in England and spread, 
under the Stuarts, among the clergy of the Estab- 
lished Church. When Edwards came forward as 
an author it had gained ground in England in the 
Puritan ranks, and affected certain honored lead- 
ers, among whom were Eidgley, Watts, and Dod- 
dridge. It is not too much to say that in the two 
last-named authors the Calvinistic definition of 
Election and kindred topics was emasculated. 
Where there was no thought of an ecclesiastical 
separation from the Puritan churches, yet a nomi- 
nalistic, or what might be styled a Lockeian, 
Calvinism — although Locke's religious creed was 
at swords' points with that of orthodox Puritan- 
ism of every grade — took the place of the Augus- 
tinian philosophy. The English Arminian au- 
thors, and the class of dissenters just referred to, 
won partial and decided converts in New Eng- 
land, where the symbols of Puritan theology, the 
Westminster Confessions and Catechisms, had for- 
merly held an undivided sway. The time had 


come when Calvinism on this side of the water, 
as well as in Great Britain, if it was to hold its 
own, stood in need of competent defenders. 

The fundamental principle in the philosophical 
and religious system of Edwards is the doctrine 
of the Absolute. The existence and necessary 
existence of a Being, eternal, infinite and omni- 
present, a being self-conscious, yet not dependent 
for self-consciousness on aught exterior to Himself, 
was propounded with emphasis in the youthful 
essay, the title of which is " Being." This prin- 
ciple was ever after the groundwork of his teach- 
ing. In his mind God was the supreme and ab- 
sorbing object of contemplation and study. His 
supremacy, the independence of His being and per- 
fections, was the groundwork of his creed. The 
" sovereignty " of God he insisted on and empha- 
sized. At times, in one sermon in particular, he 
uses language of which the natural interpretation, 
and one that has been not infrequent, is that 
election is an arbitrary selection on the part of 
God — purely a matter of will. This would make 
it a separate peculiar attribute, standing by itself 
— an attribute without which God would lose one 
of His distinguishing perfections. But this is not 


the idea of sovereignty which in various places he 
explicitly states and defends. His affirmation is 
that the wisdom and holiness of God lie back of 
His decrees. " It is fit," he says, " that He who is ab- 
solutely perfect, and infinitely wise, and the Foun- 
tain of all wisdom, should determine everything by 
his own will, even things of the greatest impor- 
tance. 1 He is a " being in everything determined 
by his own counsel, having no other rule but his 
own wisdom." 2 The infelicity of using language, 
at least occasionally, implying that " sovereignty " 
is nothing more than will without reason back of 
it, is a fault of not a few Calvinistic teachers in 
the past, and even of Calvin himself. Yet Calvin 
distinctly avers — " dare affirmo " are his words — 
that the decrees of God are dictated by wisdom. 

It was when Edwards was in the midst of his 
labors as a missionary to the Indians that he com- 
posed his treatise on the Will. 3 Of this work we 
will speak after a few words relative to this period 
in his life. 

In 1735, Rev. John Sergeant, who graduated at 

> Dwight's ed., Vol. III., p. 506. 

2 Ibid., Vol. II., p. 229. See other declarations made in the strongest 
terms, on pp. 227, 230, 232. 

8 His work as a missionary followed his dismissal at Northampton. 
On this event, which is closely connected with theological controversies, 
see Appendix, Note i. 


Yale in 1730, and succeeded Edwards as a tutor, 
began his work among the wandering Mohegans 
and other Indians in Stockbridge and the neigh- 
borhood. He mastered their language and prose- 
cuted his labors, under varied obstacles, with 
perseverance and success, until his death in 1749. 
Two years after, Edwards, on leaving Northamp- 
ton on account of the troubles there, accepted the 
post thus left vacant and held it for six years. He 
attended faithfully to his task. A letter from 
him to Sir William Pepperel, Governor of the 
Province, respecting the plan of a school for 
Indian girls at Stockbridge, is interesting in its 
enlightened views on the subject of education. 1 

He speaks not only of this particular matter, 
but in reference to English-speaking youth in gen- 
eral. He wants the method of instruction for the 
offspring of the Indians to be free, as he expresses 
it, from "the gross defects of the ordinary method 
of teaching among the English." As one of these 
grand defects, he specifies the habit of accustom- 
ing children to "learning without understanding." 
They are taught to read, he says, without knowing 
the meaning of what they read, and this practice 
goes on, even long after they are capable of under- 

i Dwight, ut supra, p. 474. 


standing. They are taught the Catechism in the 
same way. They form the habit of repeating 
words without ideas. The child, he declares with 
emphasis, in reading the Bible should be taught to 
understand things as well as words. Questions 
should be put to the young in the same familiar 
manner as "they are asked questions commonly 
about their ordinary affairs." He asserts that " the 
common methods of instruction in New England" 
are grossly defective. He goes on to say that 
children should be taught in a plain way Script- 
ural history, and Bible stories of the most inter- 
esting and important events in the Jewish nation 
and in the world at large, since secular history is 
connected with the story of Israel. He would 
have children, moreover, taught "something in 
general of ecclesiastical history, of the chronology 
of events, and of historical geography." If it be 
thought that all children do not need instruction 
so extended, he still maintains that " children of 
the best genius" might at least enjoy this ad- 
vantage. "All would serve," he insists, the more 
speedily and effectually, to change the taste of 
Indians, and " to bring them off from their bar- 
barism and brutality to a relish for those things 
which belong to civilization and refinement." 


Music especially he recommends, as a school for 
sensibility and affection. He writes to his father 
(January 27, 1752): "The Indians seem much 
pleased with my family, especially my wife. They 
are generally more sober and serious than they used 
to be. Besides the Stockbridge Indians, there are 
above sixty of the Six Nations, who live here for 
the sake of instruction. Twenty are lately come 
to dwell here, who came from about two hundred 
miles beyond Albany." x Greed of gain on the 
part of certain whites, anxious to enrich them- 
selves, and elements of opposition from other 
sources, were harmful to the mission at Stock- 
bridge. But the ideal of Edwards, possibly un- 
practical in some of its features, was a high one, 
and he bent all his efforts to the realization of it. 

Edwards was thoroughly persuaded that the 
arguments of Whitby and other Arminian polem- 
ics were flimsy and capable of easy refutation. 
On the other hand, the conspicuous English 
writers on the Calvinistic side were perceived by 
him to be half-hearted and vacillating in their rea- 
soning and were considered to have virtually given 
up the key of their position into the hands of the 

1 Dwight, ut swpra, Vol. I., p. 486. 


enemy. Edwards proposed to bring the confident 
adversaries "to the test of strictest reasoning." 
On the other hand, he challenged for his own ar- 
guments the severest scrutiny, and only depre- 
cated the charge that they were " metaphysical," 
as being a vague and impertinent objection. 

In a few months, at Stockbridge, he wrote his 
book on the Will. In this discussion of the prob- 
lem of liberty and necessity, he undertook to es- 
tablish the doctrine of determinism, — the estab- 
lished, uniform connection of the specification or 
particular direction of the will in the act of choos- 
ing, with its mental antecedents — more definitely, 
with the state of feeling respecting the relative 
desirableness of the one and the other object pre- 
sented for choice. 

The opposite view, he contends, is equivalent 
to a doctrine of chance and, if carried out, would 
land its advocates in atheism. The points of co- 
incidence between his reasoning in behalf of that 
"moral necessity," — which, with many ancient 
and modern leaders in philosophy and theology, 
he denied to involve "constraint," in any proper 
sense of the term — with other writers, are nothing 
more than coincidence. They imply no borrow- 
ing on his part from other supporters of a like 


thesis. There is reason to believe that he had 
never read Collins. While he was unquestion- 
ably influenced by suggestions of Locke on the 
significance of liberty and choice, his indepen- 
dence in thought is equally manifest. 

In common with so many advocates of the doc- 
trine of necessity, he insisted on the law of cause 
and effect and its application, without shrinking 
or evasion, to the acts of the will The certainty 
of their being what they are results from their 
antecedents. With unsparing rigor he hunts 
down his opponents in their real or probable, or 
even possible, retreats. This causal relation as 
pertaining to the will is declared to be universal. 
It holds true of good and evil choices. Not men 
alone, but all moral beings without exception, are 
subject to it. In this declaration Edwards de- 
parts from Augustine and the more general Cal- 
vinistic teaching, as in the Westminster creeds, 
which attributes to Adam a certain liberty of will 
or power of contrary choice. According to Ed- 
wards, God himself is not only under a necessity 
to be morally perfect, but the same moral necessity 
which is predicable of saint and sinner, is likewise 
predicable of all the choices and volitions of the 
Supreme Being. Edwards maintains in his Letter 


to his Scottish correspondent, Erskine, 1 that "men 
are to-day in possession of all the liberty which it 
has entered into the heart of man to conceive." 

In order to comprehend the theory of Edwards 
it is needful to get at his view of the nature of 
causation. In his early writing, "The Mind," he 
explains, " Cause to be that, after, or upon, the 
Existence of which, or the Existence in such a 
manner, the existence of another thing follows." 
He defines, also, Power as " the Connection be- 
tween these two existences, or between the Cause 
and Effect." 2 The question cannot fail to occur 
to the student of Edwards, whether he connects 
with the idea of Power, as related to choices, more 
than Hume's and Mill's notion of uniformity of 
succession. In Part IL, Section III., of the Treatise 
on the Will, he enters into a full exposition of his 
use of the word " Cause." A frequent use, he says, 
makes it include " a positive efficiency or influence 
to procktce a thing " ; but, he adds, it may signify 
an indispensable antecedent. "In the same con- 
nection, he says: Moral "Causes" — i.e., antece- 
dents of choice — " may be Causes in as proper a 
sense as any Causes whatsoever," and "may be 

1 Dwight's Works, etc., Vol. II. , p. 293. 
2 Dwight, ibid., Vol. II., p. 681. 


as truly the reason and ground of an Event's 
coming to pass" (p. 50). In the course of his 
treatise he speaks of motives as exciting to choice 
or volition, as tendmg to produce choice. It is, 
therefore, probable that he connected efficiency 
with the operation of motives. 1 Moreover, he 
says that the distinction between "natural" and 
"moral" necessity is not that in the latter case 
" the nature of things is not concerned in it," as 
well as in the former. "The difference does not 
lie so much in the nature of the connection as in 
the two terms connected, and in the effect, which 
in the latter case is ' voluntary action.' " 2 

Now, in Edwards's idealistic opinion as to all 
external things, perception by created beings is 
owing to the stable will of God, which not only 
produces ideas but, as to things perceived, causes 
them to be objects of perception. The question 
naturally arises whether motives, the antecedents 
of voluntary action, and their relative " strength," 
are not likewise understood by him, as the effect 
of the stable, constant exercise of the divine will ? 
It must be borne in mind that his usual answer to 
the objection that if there were no power of alter- 
native choice we should not be responsible for 

* Dwighfs Ed., Vol. II., p. 25. »/&&., pp. 33, 34. 


vrong moral choices, is that the wrong of a choice 
ies not in its cause, but in its nature. 

The Idealism of Edwards, his view of the Im- 
nanence of God, and his doctrine of moral neces- 
ity as connected with voluntary action, would 
eem to involve Pantheism. In fact, in earlier and 
ater writings, he uses language which identifies 
Tod with the world. In his early " Notes on the 
Mind " he writes : " God and real existence are the 
same ; God is, and there is none else. ... It 
s impossible that God be otherwise than excellent, 
! or He is the infinite, universal and all-comprehend- 
ng excellence." He speaks of God's " infinite 
imountxxr quantity of existence" In his late, pos- 
ihumous, treatise on the End of God in Creation, 
le says of God that His "being and beauty is, 
is it w T ere, the sum and comprehension of all ex- 
stence and excellence " much more than the Sun 
s " the comprehension of all the light and bright- 
less of the sky." In his treatise on Virtue, he 
vrites that God " is, in effect, being in general, and 
jomprehends universal existence." "When still in 
lis youth, he speaks of striving for as clear a 
mowledge of God's action "with respect to spirit 
md mind as he has of his operation concerning 
natter and bodies." He writes: "Man's reason 


and conscience seem to be a participation of the 
divine essence." As we have seen that in his 
view of voluntary action the antecedents of what 
we call choice, and the consequent are subsumed 
under the principle of cause and effect. 

Nevertheless Edwards was a Theist and not in 
the least shaken in his conviction. He believed 
without misgiving in the personality of God. 
Even in some of the foregoing citations it is the 
Excellence of God, meaning His Moral Excel- 
lence, to which he refers. Of the responsibility 
of men and of the unspeakable guilt of sin he 
had not the shadow of a doubt. He holds that 
creation is not necessary to the happiness of God, 
which is infinite. His delight in self-communica- 
tion — what is termed His " communicative " dispo- 
sition, a " diffusive " disposition — not His personal 
need of creation, if one may so say, which moves 
Him. The existence of creatures does not militate 
against the infinitude of that love of himself which 
is called for by the infinitude of His being. Their 
relation to Him is such that it is not abridged by 
their existence. It is undeniable that he has to deal 
with a problem which is not completely solved. 1 

1 !For a criticism of Edwards on this topic, see the observations of 
Prof. Allenj Jonathan Udwards, Period III., Ch. V- 


was practically not confused or disturbed by 
j seeming inconsistency between certain aspects 
his theology, in the strict sense of this term, and 
;heistic creed and the anthropology associated 
ih it. 

[n another polemical treatise — that on Original 
l, which did not see the light until after his 
ith, Edwards confronts the Arminian authors 
reference to the strongest point in their conten- 
n, to wit : that the Calvinistic doctrine of the 
ponsibility of the posterity of Adam for his sin, 
dch is not their act, and that they are truly 
iged to be sinful from the start, is untenable. 
! plunges into the thick of the conflict on the 
L-time subject of the spread and dominion of 
>ral evil in the race of mankind. He sought to 
iarm the opponents of orthodox doctrine, and 
lift the veil on the mystery of sin — the one 
'stery, as Coleridge said, which makes all other 
ngs clear. He discards everything in the cur- 
it beliefs which savors of legal fiction, and seeks 
found the responsibility of the individual on a 
il spiritual continuity of the race, a view which 
seeks to fortify by a disquisition on the mean- 
l of personal identity and of sameness of sub- 


stance, which he makes equivalent to constantly- 
repeated acts of creation. It is evident that 
Locke's curious chapter on " Identity and Diver- 
sity" put Edwards on the track on which he 
advanced to his novel opinion. But here like- 
wise the metaphysical doctrine was worked out 
in an original way, and the opinions in theology 
were at absolute variance with the tenets of Locke. 
Edwards undertakes in his own way to establish 
Augustine's proposition of an act of the race. It 
is strictly true ? he asserts, that all participated in 
the act by which " the species first rebelled against 
God." x We are condemned not for another's evil 
choice, but for our own — for real participation in 
that act by which "the species first rebelled against 
God." The continuance of the individuals of the 
race and of sin in them is affirmed to be as truly 
a fact as the sameness of substance in the indi- 
vidual. The individuals sprung from the first man 
are the continuation of Adam. There is no ques- 
tion as to the sincerity of Edwards in this bold 

Edwards denies the opinion that God is the 
author of sin by any positive act introducing it 
in the race. His agency in the case of the first 

Edwards's Works, etc , Dwight'a Ed., Vol. II., p. 543. 


a, as in every other, did not go beyond the with- 
uwal of the helps of grace, in consequence of 
hich his native propensities are left to operate 
ithout the effectual help of these aids. His 
gument on this subject he fortifies by copious 
ferences to sayings and events recorded in the 
sriptures. 1 He seeks to illustrate his meaning by 
Le simile of the Sun in relation to darkness and 
>ld, which it does not cause because these follow 
f allibly on the withdrawal of its beams. When 
n occurs God " wills it to occur, considering all 
3 consequences." God brings to pass the fact of 
n in a way to make it obvious that He is not the 
Dsitive cause and real source of it. 2 He sanc- 
ons the usual Calvinistic idea of " the secret and 
wealed will of God, and their diversity from one 
lother." His reasoning as to the negation of 
:>sitive divine agency in the existence of moral 
ril is parallel with that of Aquinas and his school. 
, comes to pass by the disposal of God, not by His 
:>sitive exertion. Most men will not hesitate to 
rev that he who should extinguish the heat and 
2;ht of the sun may properly be styled the author 
id cause of the night and cold. 
The treatise of Edwards on " Keligious Affec- 

« Dwight's Ed., II., 250. 2 Ibid., p. 263. 


tions " presents the author's ideal of religious ex- 
perience. This book was occasioned by his per- 
ception of the abuses which attended the " Great 
Revival," especially the morbid enthusiasm and 
various extravagances that marred its beneficent 
influence. One design was to sift the converts 
and to distinguish between sound religious feel- 
ings and such as are unhealthy and spurious. 
His analysis was sometimes pushed to an extreme 
that afterwards engendered in the churches a good 
deal of self -distrust, thus depriving not a few 
Christian believers of the Assurance which the 
Eeformers counted a special blessing brought in 
by the Protestant teaching. Nevertheless, this 
treatise comprises many of the author's best 
thoughts on the subject expressed in the title. It 
opens to view the mystical element in Edwards, 
the elements of insight and intuition in his re- 
ligious thoughts. A masterly work of Edwards 
is that on the Nature of True Virtue, a posthu- 
mous publication. He sets forth the nature of 
moral goodness in the concrete. This he finds to 
be Benevolence, or love to intelligent being. It 
is love to the entire society of intelligent beings 
according to their rank, or, to use his phrase, the 
" amount of being " that belongs to them. It is 


supreme love to God, limited as regards inferior 
beings. Ethics and religion are thus inseparably 
associated. This all-embracing Benevolence— love 
to " being in general " — is the fountain and es- 
sence of all specific virtues deserving of the name. 
He who exercises this Love delights in it when 
perceived in others. This delight excites a special 
affection for them — the love of complacency. 
This u relish " is an experience possible only to the 
actually virtuous. 1 But there is a rectitude — a fit- 
ness of Benevolence to the soul and the nature of 
things. The perception of it is a ground of obli- 
gation, the basis of conscience, in all, even in such 
as discern not the spiritual beauty of Benevolence 
and are incapable of it. This essay of Edwards 
calls out from the younger Fichte the warmest 
eulogy. This he concludes with the words : " So 
has this solitary thinker of North America risen 
to the deepest and loftiest ground which can un- 
derlie the principle of morals " — with more in the 
same vein. 2 

In another posthumous essay, Edwards con- 
siders "God's Last End in Creation." The dis- 

» The priority of benevolence to complacency in the ideal of Virtue 
was the first and the last teaching of Edwards, although in the interval 
for a while he held to the reverse opinion. 

2 System d. Mhik., Vol. I., p. 69. 


cussion includes an answer to the question, " why 
God called the universe into being." He rejects 
every idea of need, insufficiency, from the possi- 
bility of being a motive in the mind of a Being 
who is declared to be infinitely happy. He is not 
dependent on the creature for the infinitesimal 
part of His bliss. Pantheism is thus ruled out 
from the list of possible solutions of the problem. 
God estimates the sum of His own excellence at its 
real worth. His supreme regard for His own 
glory, or His own glorious perfection, does not 
partake in the least of selfishness. The disposi- 
tion to communicate his own fulness of good in- 
heres in Him and incites Him to create the world. 
His delight in creatures is delight in what ema- 
nates from Himself. It is equivalent to a delight 
in Himself. His love to creatures is love to Him 
self, u because God's being, as it were, compre- 
hends all." This would seem to subtract some- 
thing from the strict reality of creation. This 
difficulty is not dealt with. Some aid is afforded 
in this direction by the thesis that for the elect 
part of mankind, it is that the creation is given its 
being. The absolute and perfectly sincere dis- 
owning of Pantheism lacks an entirely lucid and 
logically complete maintenance. 


Edwards left among his manuscripts a collec- 
tion of Papers, not recast or revised for publica- 
tion, which bear the title, which was attached 
later, of "Miscellaneous Observations." They are 
on topics of theology and, some of them in partic- 
ular, are striking proofs of his genius as a theolog- 
ical thinker. One of them treats of the Atone- 
ment, or "The Satisfaction of Christ." He starts . 
with the admission that if Repentance could be 
answerable to the guilt of sin, it might be re- 
ceived by God as an adequate compensation, but 
affirms it is not possible. The qualifications of 
Christ for the function of a Mediator, or for 
acceptable Intercession, are set forth. Christ 
enters fulhf into the mind of the offended party 
and the distress of the offender. His sympathy 
with each is complete. He identifies Himself in 
feeling with each: with God's spiritual condem- 
nation of the sinful man, while He is, at the same 
time, fully alive to man's criminality and forlorn 
situation. His prayer in man's behalf is in an 
absolute sense intelligent The substitution of 
Christ is in his own heart primarily. Edwards 
shows his independence and his depth in pro- 
pounding the statements that this two-fold feel- 
ing of Christ is perfected through His own experi- 


ence, including suffering and death, and that in 
and through death and the spiritual perceptions 
thus developed, there was in Him, although sin- 
less, an increase of holiness, reaching absolute 
perfection. He gave proof of his thorough ap- 
proval of the righteousness of the divine law 
and of the penalty for the remission of which 
he prayed. 

In his letter to the Trustees of Princeton Col- 
lege, before he consented to accept the presidency, 
Edwards speaks of being at work on a theological 
production peculiar in its plan. 1 Although unfin- 
ished at his death, it was published. The subject 
is "Redemption," and it professes to contain a 
new View of Church History. In its conception 
it is not unlike Augustine's " City of God." The 
design illustrates the breadth of his mind, for it 
is nothing less than an essay on the philosophy of 
History, an interpretation of the course of Divine 
Providence. Although the compass of the au- 
thor's learning fell short of the adequate realiza- 
tion of his idea, and so it would have been had 
he lived to do his best, it is yet a truly suggestive 
and an instructive handling of the capacious 

1 This letter is interesting for its frank expressions respecting himself. 
See Appendix, Note II. 


theme. The book is a worthy monument of 
the variety of his powers. 

Of the writings of Edwards which, in modern 
days, are offensive to readers, not a few are those 
which pertain to the character and destiny of the 
class included under the head of the unregener- 
ate, and to the way in which they are said to be 
regarded by God. The first comment to be made 
on the specially obnoxious passages is that the Es- 
chatology of Edwards is essentially identical with 
that of the symbols of the Protestant churches of 
the period, the Socinians excepted — e. g., with the 
Westminster Confession — and it is not essentially 
diverse from the creed of the followers of Augus- 
tine in the preceding centuries. When Edwards 
says of infants that, while seeming innocent to us, 
" they are in God's sight young vipers," he casts 
into a figure of speech a dogma not dissonant 
from the creeds referred to — however distasteful 
both dogma and figure may be. The abhorrence 
with which the wicked are said to be regarded 
by the Divine Lawgiver and Judge is expressed 
in terms as intense as the English vocabulary fur- 
nishes, and through similes of equal severity. In 
the Enfield Sermon, it is said that God " ab- 
hors them and is dreadfully provoked," and that 


even now they are in His hand, held over the fire, 
as one holds a loathsome insect. The wicked are 
"Useful in their destruction only": so runs the 
title of one of his sermons. Their penal sufferings 
hereafter were held by him, in agreement with 
organized churches generally, to be an allotment 
of retributive justice, which is considered an attri- 
bute of God, worthy of approval and fitted to excite 
feelings of satisfaction in the beholder. Hence 
the saints above, seeing the inflictions on the con- 
demned, will " make heaven ring with the praises 
of God's justice towards the wicked and his grace 
towards the saints," who are conscious that they 
deserve the same "penalty," from which they 
have been delivered. 

It is a pity that so many of the class which New- 
man calls the " merely literary " appear to know 
nothing of Edwards save from his Enfield ser- 
mon on the torments to be expected by the wicked 
hereafter. 1 His sermons generally were in a dif- 
ferent style. They were addressed to the under- 

1 This Sermon was first prepared for his own people at Northamp- 
ton in June, 1741, and preached at Enfield in the following month. It 
was then not entirely written out. In print it was about three times as 
long as it is in the MS. Other MSS. of Edwards show how much 
they were expanded in delivery or in printing. I owe these facts to the 
careful examination of Professor Dexter. See his publication. The 
Manuscripts of Jonathan Edwards (1901), pp. 6, 7. 


standing of his hearers. It was his method occa- 
sionally in popular addresses and appeals, to con- 
fine the attention to one side of the shield. He 
could discourse on the mercy of God and the joys 
of heaven with equal force and effect. The Prot- 
estant pulpit was slow to discard that medieval 
habit of depicting the terrors of the law of which 
the Inferno of Dante furnishes a classic example. 
But the Inferno, we may be told, was a product 
of the imagination. So are the offensive epithets 
and figures in Edwards. But Dante, it is added, 
did not stand in the pulpit ; he was a poet. True, 
and, himself a poet, he did not hesitate to leave 
Virgil, from whom he professes to have derived 
his "beautiful style," 1 in hell — in the outer circle, 
to be sure. 2 His poem, moreover, has for its doc- 
trinal basis the dogmatic teaching of the " Doctor 
Angelicus," Thomas Aquinas. 

It must not be assumed that Edwards stood 
alone in a mode of teaching which was judged 
to be wholesome and necessary to excite alarm 
and impel to repentance. This fact is exempli- 
fied in the case of Jeremy Taylor, to whom no one 
thinks of imputing cruelty of feeling. His dis- 
courses are not free from passages describing the 

1 Inferno^ c. i., 85-88. 2 Doomed with unbaptized 

infants to sorrow, if not to torment. Ibid.y c. iv., 25 seq. 


torments of the lost which are almost on a level 
with those in Edwards that are so bitterly de- 
nounced. It is not the only, but it is the principal, 
source of regret that passages of this class in Ed- 
wards, especially in certain revival addresses from 
the pulpit, should not be connected with remarks 
in which the love of God, co-existing with His 
abhorrence of evil, is spoken of, and with illus- 
trations of this love from the Scriptures. The 
words of Jesus on the spirit of fatherliness in 
God, as expressed in the saying, He "is kind to 
the evil and unthankful," and in the parable of 
the Prodigal Son, had they been even alluded 
to, might have prevented, certainly in part, the 
seeming ascription of vindictiveness and of un- 
qualified anger to the Creator and Judge. It 
would be a signal injustice, however, to impute to 
Edwards the absence of a profound faith in the love 
of God. The various heartfelt expressions on the 
duty of forbearance and of forgiveness, contained 
in the record of his early " resolutions " and writ- 
ten reflections, reveal the depth of this faith. The 
treatise on the Nature of Virtue, wherein a funda- 
mental principle is that the character of God 
at the core consists in love to all intelligent beings, 
whether morally good or morally evil, shows that 


its author — perhaps with special depth of convic- 
tion in the closing period of life — recognized the 
all-comprehending Benevolence of God towards 
mankind, whatever their guilt. 1 Moreover, despite 
the defective Anthropology of the prince of Amer- 
ican theologians, he was one of the sources and 
promoters of the humanitarian movement in which 
Channing was so prominent a leader, for he was 
inspired with this temper in no small degree by 
Hopkins, the foremost pupil and disciple of Ed- 
wards, who was the pastor of Channing, and who 
in his youth had made disinterested Benevolence 
a central article in his system, being himself a 
pioneer in the public condemnation of the slave- 
trade, of which Newport, the place of his resi- 
dence, was one of the marts. 

The reader of this volume may be referred to 
the notice, at the close of the Preface, of the 
Essay of Edwards on the Trinity. Its general 
character is such as it is natural to expect from 
an author like Edwards, with his absorbing de- 
votion both to metaphysics and Biblical study. 
It is a discussion in the same category as a class 
of philosophical expositions and arguments on 

* His book on Charity is full of teaching to this effect. 


this theme, of which Augustine was a precursor, 
that are found in the scholastic literature and 
down to the date of recent German theologians. 1 
The student of theology who would inform him- 
self respecting this section of Doctrinal History- 
may resort to the works in this branch, and to 
Corner's work on Systematic Theology. 

The Essay of Edwards is so careful in its state- 
ments and so lucid in style that a recapitulation of 
its contents would have to be in the main a repe- 
tition. The author himself presents as follows, a 
brief summary of the purport of his dissertation. 

"This I suppose to be that Blessed Trinity 
that we Kead of in the Holy Scriptures. The 
Father is the Deity subsisting in the Prime, un- 
originated and most absolute manner. The Son is 
the Deity subsisting in act, or the divine essence 
generated by God's understanding, or having an 
Idea of himself and subsisting in that Idea. The 
Holy Ghost is the Deity subsisting in act, or the 
divine essence flowing out and Breathed forth in 
God's Infinite love and delight in himself. I be- 
lieve the whole divine essence does Truly and dis- 
tinctly subsist both in the divine idea and divine 
Love, and that they are properly distinct persons." 

1 On Augustine's views, see Appendix, Note III. 


Thus, according to Edwards, neither of the 
divine persons is God without each of the other 
two. Each person exists in and with each of the 

Without critically examining the theory thus 
sketched by Edwards, I think that it must be 
allowed to include what may not improperly be 
styled tri-personality, with the avoidance of tri- 

Edwards agrees with Nicene orthodoxy in 
teaching the priority of the Father along with 
co-equality of the persons in divine attributes. In 
the Divine oeconomy, the work of redemption 
and administration, the priority of the Father con- 

On the Holy Spirit, and the relations of the 
Holy Spirit in the immanent trinity and in re- 
demption, Edwards discourses at length in the 
posthumous treatise on Grace. 1 

Edwards maintains that if man had as perfect 
an idea of his thoughts, mental acts — in short, all 
his mental states, — as God has, it would be true 
of man that one is two. This Idea of God is the 

1 This was first printed in 1865. A clear exposition of the theory of 
Edwards may be read in Professor Park's Second Article in the Bibli- 
otheca Sacra, Vol. XXXVIII., p. 342, seq., and — especially on the 
topic of the Holy Spirit, in the First Article, p. 157, seq. 


Xoyos of the Scriptures. The never ceasing of 
God, the overflowing of his essence, in Love is 
the arf&irq of the Scriptures. An objection is met 
by the contention that the Love of God is a per- 
son, since His Love is unceasingly active and com- 
prehends in itself the understanding and will of 
the Father and the Son. 

Edwards abjures the intent to meet all the ob- 
jections that may be made to the doctrine which 
he has undertaken to set forth, or to solve "puz- 
zling doubts and questions " that may be raised. 
" I do not pretend," he says, " to explain the Trin- 
ity so as to render it no longer a mystery. . . . 
I think it to be the highest and deepest of all 
divine mysteries still, notwithstanding anything I 
have said or conceived." At the same time he 
thinks that progress in knowledge on this subject 
is not to be excluded, and that if new difficulties 
and queries are started by any such advance, the 
same is the case when new light is gained by in- 
vestigation of the objects in nature which science 
seeks to understand. 

As the effect of the influence of Edwards and 
of his writings there arose a type and school of 
theology which at the outset received the name of 


New Divinity, to distinguish it from the tradi- 
tional type of Calvinism into which were intro- 
duced certain modifications. The new system was 
styled New England Theology, since New Eng- 
land was the place of its origin and the place 
where it was developed in diversified forms by 
its expounders and advocates. The creed of these 
was, to a considerable extent, moulded by Ed- 
wards, and his influence affected, beyond the spe- 
cial catalogue of such teachers, the preaching and 
tone of thought of a wider circle. 

The choir-leaders of the New England school 
were disciples, but not servile disciples, of Ed- 
wards. They built on foundations which he had 
laid. His writings were too fruitful of suggestion 
to secure unity of opinion among his followers. 
One principal aim continued to be to put an end 
to the apparent conflict between human depend- 
ence and personal responsibility. So to formulate 
Calvinism as to do away with popular objections 
and to frame a system better adapted to the pulpit 
was a concurrent aim. The treatise on the Will, 
on one hand, furnished the premises for a class of 
inferences on the nature and origin of sin and of 
conversion. On the other hand, what Edwards 
had taught on the necessity of spiritual light im 


parted directly from God, led a school of divines 
to accordant corollaries relative to the new life 
and spiritual experience. 

The question of the theodicy — How is evil, es- 
pecially moral evil, consistent with infinite power 
and love in the Deity ? — was discussed in writings 
of Bellamy and other adherents of the " New Di- 
vinity," as it was then called. Samuel Hopkins, 
whom President Stiles couples, as a "great rea- 
soner," with President Edwards, was graduated at 
Yale in 1741. He went to Northampton to study 
for the ministry with Edwards. From his doc- 
trine of the extension of the reign of law over 
choices and volitions, Hopkins did not shrink from 
the distinct enunciation that the acts of the will 
are to be referred to divine efficiency. This thesis 
was adopted by Nathaniel Emmons, a graduate of 
Yale in 1767. Emmons, when his premises were 
assumed, reached his conclusions by an inevitable 
march of logic. Moreover, Hopkins propounded 
the doctrine of disinterested love which he de- 
duced from the treatise of Edwards on the Nat- 
ure of Virtue, — the doctrine, namely, of the obli- 
gations to love self, not as one's own self, but only 
as a fraction of strictly limited value in the sum 
total of rational beings, — what Edwards had 


termed " being in general." The duty, as an ele- 
ment of thorough repentance, of unconditional 
resignation to the just penalty of sin, should it be 
the will of God to inflict it, was an inference. 
This was inculcated not merely as a theoretic 
dogma, but even as a practical demand to be ad- 
dressed by the Christian pastor to the individual 
seeking a place in the kingdom of God. The 
same idea is in Mystics of earlier days, for exam- 
ple in the little book, the " Deutsche Theologie," 
so highly prized by Luther. 

Destitute altogether of the graces of style and 
of speech required to interest an audience, despite 
what was thought a harsh* tenet, Hopkins was 
revered by all for the depth of his piety, and the 
exalted purity and benevolence of his character. 
One of his hearers in his parish at Newport, as 
already stated, was a youth destined for a dis- 
tinguished career, — William Ellery Channing. 
Channing had not a little intercourse with the 
venerable pastor, the effect of which was per- 
manent. "I was attached to Dr. Hopkins," writes 
Channing, " chiefly by his theory of disinterested 
love." The intrepid minister lifted his voice 
against the African slave-trade. He published in 
1776 an earnest appeal to his countrymen to eman- 


cipate their slaves. Thus, Jonathan Edwards 
was an indirect agent in inspiring with zeal in 
the cause of humanity the leading founder of 
New England Unitarianism. 

Emmons, whose name has been mentioned, on 
most points was in accord with Hopkins. Yet 
he was not without peculiarities of opinion which 
spread mainly through the fifty-seven pupils 
whom he trained in his family for the ministry. 
He was an active pastor for fifty-four years, and 
lived to the age of ninety-five. 

The younger Edwards, if he did not rise to the 
level of his father as an original thinker, was a 
keen logician. He was the one conspicuous repre- 
sentative of the New Divinity who was not gradu- 
ated at Yale, his father having been recently 
President at Princeton. But he studied for the 
ministry with Bellamy, and with the school of 
theologians trained at Yale, followers of his 
father, he was, by birth and life-long association, 
closely affiliated. To him New England the- 
ology was indebted for its governmental view of 
the Atonement, which had been anticipated in the 
main by the great Arminian jurist, Hugo Grotius. 
Thereby the end and aim of the sacrifice on the 
cross were so extended as to exclude the objec- 


tion that it was a provision meant for only an 
elect portion of the race. Thus, although divine 
sovereignty was proclaimed with an almost un- 
exampled emphasis, no exception could be taken 
to the compass of divine love as related specifically 
to the mission and death of Christ. 

The opening of the century which has lately 
reached its end found in the presidential seat at 
Yale, and in its Chapel pulpit as Professor of 
Divinity, the grandson of President Edwards, the 
first President Dwight. An instance of his power 
in the pulpit was the effect of his sermons two 
years after his accession to the presidency, on the 
Nature and Danger of Infidel Philosophy, which 
turned the tide against the imported French Deism, 
then prevalent in College. He was a man whose 
catholic temper and intellectual habit caused him 
to shun one-sided formulas in theology and to 
avoid extreme statements in homiletic discourse. 
The system of President Dwight, moreover, which 
was presented in a consecutive series of sermons 
in the College pulpit, steered clear of the meta. 
physical dryness prevalent in the preaching of the 
day. They were enlivened by a rhetorical quality 
which met an increasing popular demand. In his 
youth he had been a tutor in College. In this 


office, along with a contemporary tutor who also 
became a distinguished Congregationalist divine, 
Joseph Buckminster, he had done much to foster 
a literary taste in the institution. It was the first 
stage in the grafting of the Renaissance culture 
on the Puritan type of education. Johnson, Ad- 
dison and other writers of that epoch were read 
with delight. Through Dwight's sermons, the 
"new divinity," shorn of later shibboleths and 
clad in a comely dress, was widely diffused both 
in this country and in Great Britain. It was ac- 
ceptable to many, as a type of modern Calvinism 
which, while it made no war upon the West- 
minster symbols, deviated from them in certain 
definitions of doctrine. 

Numerous editions of Dwight's system were 
published in Scotland and in England. Down to 
a time not far back, not a few pilgrims from 
these countries, some of them preachers of high 
repute, who had learned theology from the writ- 
ings of Dwight, were led to visit New Haven and 
the grave of their revered teacher. Edwards 
himself did not cease to be read in Great Britain. 
He stamped his impress, on the two principal the- 
ologians in the early part of the last century, 
Andrew Fuller and Thomas Chalmers, of whom 


mention has been made. Among the American 
theologians who sat at the feet of Dwight was 
James Murdock of the Class of 1797. An accu- 
rate and erudite scholar, Dr. Murdock filled for a 
number of years the chair of Ecclesiastical His- 
tory at Andover. He deserves special honor for 
the work done by him in fostering this depart- 
ment of learning. 

Another pupil of Dwight, and by this channel 
linked to Edwards, was Lyman Beecher. He 
lived to attain to eminence in the pulpit, besides 
being a professor of Theology. The fame of his 
children should not be suffered to eclipse the dis- 
tinction of the father. On the list of the Yale 
Class of 1790 is the name of a theologian 
whose influence in promoting Biblical studies in 
America is unrivalled. I refer to Moses Stuart, 
first a tutor and a pastor in New Haven, and 
then for many years a professor at Andover. 
There his stimulating instruction in the class- 
room excited the enthusiasm of his pupils, while 
his numerous writings gave him distinction with 
scholars abroad as well as at home. 

After the death of Dr. Dwight, one of his cher- 
ished designs was carried out. The Yale Divin- 
ity School was established by the Corporation. 


The chair of " Didactic " or Dogmatic Theology 
in the new department was filled by the appoint- 
ment of one who did more than any other to give 
it celebrity, Dr. Nathaniel W. Taylor, who re- 
mained in office until his death, in 1858. He had 
been a beloved pupil of Dr. Dwight. His influ- 
ence, externally not so wide-spread as that of his 
instructor, was more radical in its effect on theo- 
logical opinion. He was a most inspiring teacher. 
As a metaphysician, Dr. Taylor ranks higher than 
any other leader of the New England school 
after the elder Edwards. With an acuteness and 
vigor which commanded universal respect, he com- 
bined an eloquence rarely to be met with either 
in the lecture-room or the pulpit. At his side 
stood his colleagues, Dr. Eleazer T. Fitch, like- 
wise a master in the field of metaphysical theol- 
ogy, and, in his prime, a profound as well as at- 
tractive preacher, the successor of President 
Dwight in the College pulpit, and Dr. Chauncey 
A. Goodrich, who for a good while was the chief 
conductor of the Christian Spectator, the review in 
which many of the expositions of the " New Haven 
Divinity," as it was then called, were given to the 
public. Associated in the Faculty with the trio 
just named — in his distinctive traits a complement 


to them — was a scholar, and a ripe and good one, 
Josiah W. Gibbs, cautious and candid, and deeply 
learned in linguistic and biblical science. 

It was the life-long purpose of Dr. Taylor to 
eliminate from the Edwardsean theology remain- 
ing elements which he believed to be incompatible 
with a fair view of human responsibility, the 
truth which from the first it undertook to vindi- 
cate. He did not mean to subtract from the pre- 
vailing tenets anything that is really involved in 
the sense of dependence at the basis of piety, and 
as such ever cherished by Calvinism with sedulous 
care. His aim was so to rectify the conception of 
the liberty of the will as to make room for a 
theodicy that should leave untouched the free and 
responsible nature of man and the moral attributes 
of God, not less than His omnipotence. Edwards 
had made prominent his idea of the certainty of the 
actual determination of the will as in each case the 
consequence of the antecedent motives. Dr. Tay- 
lor followed him far, but linked to this proposi- 
tion the concomitant assertion of the power of 
contrary choice. He propounded the doctrine of 
" Certainty with power to the contrary," as a sum- 
mary statement — a ph/rase which, as he told the 


present writer, he adopted, as descriptive of his 
opinion, from a passage which he met with in 
Father Paul Sarpi's History of the Council of 
Trent, where it is ascribed to one of the partici- 
pators in the conciliar debate concerning the 
freedom of the will. Thus Dr. Taylor coincided 
with Edwards in attributing to motives a certain 
causal relation, but it was & peculiar species of 
causation, giving certainty but not necessity. 
This theory of the will was adopted in the so- 
called " New-School " New England theology. 
A younger contemporary of Dr. Taylor, a very 
acute instructor in theology, with a singular 
power of accurate and felicitous statement, was 
Professor Edwards A. Park, a devoted student of 
Edwards and an accomplished writer on the New 
England Theology. He, too, held to the " power 
of contrary choice," and conceived this to be a 
legitimate interpretation of Edwards. This is not 
the time or the place to weigh the merits of Dr. 
Taylor's system, only a portion of which has ever 
appeared in print. As to the manifest subtlety 
and intellectual grasp it exhibited, there could be 
but one opinion. 1 

1 Among the numerous descendants of Edwards, one of the most 
distinguished and one of the most competent to discuss his character- 


From the time of the elder Edwards, the school 
which he originated turned its attention more and 
more to subjects embraced under the term an- 
thropology. The origin of sin, its nature, why it 
should be permitted to exist under the divine ad- 
ministration, the connection of human agency with 
divine agency in conversion, and kindred topics, 
were uppermost. Even in the heat of the Uni- 
tarian controversy, this did not cease to be the 
case. Latin theology in its characteristic drift, in 
contrast with the favorite themes of ancient Greek 
speculation, was still in the foreground. But be- 
fore many decades had passed in the century just 
brought to an end, there were marked signs of a 
change in the point of view. 

Theology, in the etymological sense of the term, 
began to draw to itself a renewed and increasing 
attention. In this movement the master-spirit in 
England was Coleridge. Under the stimulus 
emanating from him, the apologetics of the previous 
century began to be superseded by a more spirit- 
ual method of defending the truths of natural and 
revealed religion. The time had come when Dr. 
Johnson's satirical remark that the four evangel- 

istics as a man and a writer, is the late President Theodore D. Woolsey. 
For a notice of an address by him, see Appendix, Note IV, 


ists were tried weekly in the pulpits of England 
for forgery, was ceasing to be applicable. The 
value of the proof which Christianity carries in 
itself had begun to be more justly discerned. 
Thought and investigation were directed more 
and more to the Incarnation of Christ, to His per- 
son, life and character. A few of the most gifted 
pupils of Dr. Taylor became deeply interested in 
writings of Coleridge, which were introduced into 
this country by President Marsh, of the Univer- 
sity of Vermont. A new vista was opened before 
them. Ratiocination began to lose its charm, the 
authority of logic to give place to that of intui- 
tion. One of the pupils of Dr. Taylor responded 
with especial sympathy to the new influence. 

The time has gone by when opinion was divided 
on the question whether Horace Bushnell was a 
visionary, or a man of genius with a spiritual out- 
fit rarely to be found in students and teachers of 
religion. There was in him, moreover, as all who 
knew him well were aware, a vein of common 
sense, which was not seldom manifest in the 
homely vigor of his public and private utterances. 
Dr. Bushnell was graduated at Yale in 1827. It 
was not until 1831, while he was tutor in college, 
that he reached the turning point in his religious 


convictions and experience. At that time, it is 
right to remember, Dr. Taylor was still at the 
height of his power, not only in the theological 
class-room, but as a preacher both in college and 
in the churches elsewhere. He was a wise coun- 
sellor to undergraduate students in the matter of 
personal religion. It was an epoch when the 
entire institution was pervaded by a remarkable 
attentiveness to the Gospel. 

The spirit of honesty and independence, native 
qualities of Bushnell, were not discouraged, but 
were fostered, by the example, as well as by fa- 
miliar sayings, of Taylor. But from the outset 
of his ministry, Bushnell lifted the anchor and 
steered his own way. In the first of his printed 
works, the book on " Christian Nurture," he struck 
out a new path. In contrast with a dependence 
on occasional revivals as a means of building up 
the churches and keeping alive the spirit of de- 
votion, he exalted the family as the heaven- 
appointed birthplace of piety in its youngest mem- 
bers, and family nurture as the great instrument 
of its growth. The same ardor which was sig- 
nally manifest in his subsequent writings, perhaps 
tempted him now and then to overstatement, and 
more often to unguarded declarations which pro- 


voted attack and called for explanation. But he 
was able to appeal from contemporary criticism to 
the authority of the Puritanism of an older date, 
and by the freshness and reasonableness of his 
teaching to make an immediate and lasting im- 
pression on the churches. The work on " Nature 
and the Supernatural," perhaps, on the whole, the 
best of his writings, was the product of a seed 
falling into his fertile mind from a definition in 
Coleridge's " Aids to Reflection." The final chap- 
ter on the character of Jesus, whether or not it 
justified to the full extent the inference which he 
drew from the premises, is one of the most im- 
pressive portraitures of the character of Christ 
which the plentiful literature on this subject in 
the latter days has furnished. 

Later, in a series of writings, Dr. Bushnell set 
forth with characteristic frankness and warmth 
his thoughts respecting the central topics of the 
Trinity and the Atonement. At the outset he 
broached a view respecting language which in- 
volved as an inference the necessary vagueness 
and inadequacy of all abstract terms ; a theory 
equivalent in substance to the idea of Occam and 
the mediaeval Nominalists who followed him. 
The conclusion drawn was the denial of the possi- 


bility of scientific theology, and of mental philoso- 
phy as well. Theology and philosophy, being in 
the same boat, must sink or swim together. Un- 
warranted as was the exclusion of studies not 
having to do immediately with things material 
from the category of sciences, Bushnell had at 
heart a distinction which is valid and of practical 
worth. He insisted justly on the supreme im- 
portance which the conception of personality has 
in the contents of Christianity. In this feature of 
his teaching he might have cited Edwards, who 
sets what he terms "notional knowledge" in con- 
trast with the living perceptions that flash on the 
soul by an illumination within. The awakening, 
suggestive power of the writings of Bushnell has 
been recognized everywhere by candid readers. 
They propounded opinions considerably at vari- 
ance with cherished beliefs. Yet no one could 
doubt the author's religous earnestness. 

Bushnell took up his pen, when from time to 
time he was inwardly moved to communicate new 
light that his restless intellectual activity kindled 
within him. He was not habituated to scholarly 
research. His continued reading had the effect 
gradually to modify earlier conclusions. Then he 
felt the impulse to recast them. No passion for 


consistency was allowed to qualify the frankness 
of his expressions. On the subject of the Trinity, 
in his earlier writings there was a near approach 
to the Sabellian conception, suggested to him by 
a translation by Professor Stuart from Schleier- 
macher. In his mature, final exposition of the 
Trinity, he approximated, as he avowed, to the 
ancient, orthodox conception of Athanasius and 
the Nicene Creed. His thought thus, uncon- 
sciously, took the direction of the opinion, not 
then published, of Edwards. In his article in 
" The New Englander " on the Trinity as a Prot- 
estant truth, he reverted with esteem to Athana- 
sius, and, in speaking of God as eternally " three- 
ing Himself," he placed himself on ground akin 
to that of Edwards, whose unpublished essay he 
was anxious to have given to the public. On the 
Atonement, as a supplement to his inculcation of 
what is sometimes called the " Moral View," he 
declared his conviction that a certain propitiatory 
element, which is imbedded in different forms in 
the creeds and liturgies of the Church from the 
outset, is not without a real basis, and he sought 
an explication of it in a peculiar form of a piece 
with the patripassionist drift of his theology — a 
form, which he deemed more satisfactory than the 


'aditional modes of interpreting it. We may des- 
piate these changes as retractations — which is 
le title Augustine gave to the work in which, in 
is "Reconsiderations" — for this, and not "Re- 
■actations," is the meaning of the title — we find 
not inconsiderable amount of retrogression from 
is earlier teaching. 

The reader will gather from the foregoing com- 
Lents that Bushnell, notwithstanding a sharp re- 
ugnance to certain features of the contemporary 
Tew England divinity, having a genetic connec- 
on with Edwards, Bushnell had himself more 
oints of affiliation with its founder than he was 
imself fully aware. 

The originality and felicity of presentation 
r hich mark the sermons of Bushnell have won 
>r them numerous appreciative readers in Eng- 
md as well as in America. If admiration is not 
lisplaced when bestowed on one who unites the 
btributes of the poet and the philosopher, it will 
ot fail to be evoked by the character and genius 
E Horace Bushnell. 





Tis common when speaking of the Divine hap- 
piness to say that God is Infinitely Happy in the 
Enjoyment of himself, in Perfectly beholding & 
Infinitely loving, & Rejoicing in, his own Es- 
sence & Perfections, and accordingly it must be 
supposed that God Perpetually and Eternally has 
a most Perfect Idea of himself, as it were an exact 
Image and Representation of himself ever before 
him and in actual view, & from hence arises a 
most pure and Perfect act or energy in the God- 

1 The Essay is printed from a careful transcription of the original. 
It is given in the unrevised form in which it was left by the author, 
with no attempt to mend the orthography or the structure of the sen- 
tences. The alterations are few and trifling in their nature, being de- 
signed exclusively to remove obscurities as to the meaning which 
might perplex the reader. I have thought it better to err by too 
slight changes than in the opposite direction. The following is a list 
of the Author's abbreviations : Chh. = church, or churches; F. = 
Father; G. =God; G.H. = Ghost; Gosp. = Gospel; H.G. = Holy 
Ghost ; Xi. = Lord ; L. J. X. = Lord Jesus Christ ; So. = Son ; Sp. = 
Spirit, or Spirits; SS. = Scriptures (or Scripture); X. = Christ j 
Xtians. = Christians. 



head, which is the divine Love, Complacence and 

Tho we cannot concieve of the manner of the 
divine understanding, yet if it be understanding 
or any thing that can be any way signified by that 
word of ours, it is by Idea. Tho the divine nature 
be vastly different from that of created spirits, yet 
our souls are made in the Image of God, we have 
understanding & will, Idea & Love as God 
hath, and the difference is only in the Perfection 
of degree and manner. The Perfection of the 
manner will Indeed Infer this that there is no dis- 
tinction to be made in God between Power or 
habit and act, & with Respect to Gods understand- 
ing that there are no such distinctions to be ad- 
mitted as in ours between Perception or Idea, 
and Reasoning & Judgment, (excepting what the 
will has to do in Judgment), but that the whole of 
the divine understanding or wisdom consists in the 
meer Perception or unvaried Presence of his Infi- 
nitely Perfect Idea., & with Respect to the other 
faculty as it is in God there are no distinctions to 
be admitted of faculty, habit, and act, between 
will, Inclination, & love, But that it is all one 
simple act. But the divine Perfection will not In- 
fer [i. e., imply] that his understanding is not by 


Idea and that there is not Indeed such a thing as 
Inclination & Love in God. 1 

[That in John God is Love shews that 

there are more persons than one in the deity, for it 
shews Love to be essential & necessary to the deity 
so that his nature consists in it, & this supposes that 
there is an Eternal & necessary object, because aU 
Love respects another that is the beloved. By Love 
here the Apostle certainly means something beside 
that which is commonly called self-love : that is 
very improperly called Love & is a thing of an ex- 
ceeding diverse nature from the affection or virtue 
of Love the Apostle is speaking of.] 

The sum of the divine understanding and wis- 
dom consists in his having a Perfect Idea of him- 
self, he being Indeed the all : the all-comprehend- 
ing being, — he that is, and there is none else. So 
the sum of his Inclination, Love, & Joy is his love 
to & delight in himself. Gods Love to himself, & 
complacency & delight in himself, — they are not to 
be distinguished, they are the very same thing in 
God ; which will easily be allowed, Love in man 
being scarcely distinguishable from the Compla- 
cence he has in any Idea : if there be any differ- 
ence it is meerly modal, & circumstantial. 

1 The next paragraph is inserted at a later date. 


The knowledge or view which God has of him- 
self must necessarily be concieved to be some 
thing distinct from his meer direct existence. 
There must be something that answers to our Re- 
flection. The Reflection as we Reflect on our own 
minds carries some thing of Imperfection in it. 
However, if God beholds himself so as thence to 
have delight & Joy in himself he must become his 
own Object. There must be a duplicity. There 
is God and the Idea of God, if it be Proper to call 
a conception of that that is Purely spiritual an 

And I do suppose the deity to be truly & 
Properly Repeated by Gods thus having an Idea 
of himself &> that this Idea of God is truly God, 1 
to all Intents and Purposes, & that by this 
means the Godhead is Really Generated and Re- 

1. Gods Idea of himself is absolutely Perfect 
and therefore is an express and perfect Image of 
him, exactly like him in every Respect ; there is 
nothing in the Pattern but what is in the Repre- 
sentation, — substance, life, power nor any thing 
else, & that in a most absolute Perfection of simil- 

i Over the last three words is written, as an alternate reading, " is a 
substantial Idea and haa the very essence of God." 


itude, otherwise it is not a Perfect Idea. But 
that which is the express, Perfect Image of God 
& in every respect like him is G. to all Intents & 
Purposes, because there is nothing wanting : there 
is nothing in the deity that Renders it the Deity 
but what has some thing exactly answering it in 
this Image, which will therefore also Eender that 
the Deity. * 

2. But this will more clearly appear if we con- 
sider the nature of spiritual Ideas or Ideas of 
things Purely spiritual, these that we call Ideas 
of Reflection, such as our Ideas of thought, Love, 
fear &c. If we diligently attend to them we 
shall find they are Repetitions of these very things 
either more fully or faintly, or else they are only 
Ideas of some external Circumstances that attend 
them, with a supposition of something like what 
we have in our own minds, that is, attended with 
like Circumstances. Thus tis easy to Percieve that 
if we have an Idea of thought tis only a Repeti- 
tion of the same thought with the attention of 
the mind to that Repetition. So if we think of 
Love either of our [illegible] Love or of the Love 
of others that we have not, we either so frame 
things in our Imagination that we have for a mo- 
ment a Love to that thing or to something we 


make to Represent it& stand for it, or we excite 
for a moment the love that we have to something 
else & suppose something like it there, or we only- 
have an Idea of the name with some of the con- 
comitants & effects & suppose something unseen 
that [is] used to be signified by that name. & such 
kind of Ideas very Commonly serve us, tho they 
are not Indeed Real Ideas of the thing it self. 
But we have Learn'd by experience & it has become 
habitual to us to govern our thoughts, Judgment 
& actions about it as tho we concieved of the 
thing it self. But if a person has truly & prop- 
erly an Idea of any act of Love, of fear or anger 
or any other act or motion of the mind, things 
must be so ordered and framed in his mind that 
he must for that moment have something of a 
consciousness of the same motions either to the 
same thing, or to something else that is made to 
Represent it in the mind, or towards something 
else that is pro re nata thither Referd and as it 
were transposed, and this consciousness of the 
same motions, with a design to Represent the 
other by them, is the Idea it self we have of 
them, & if it be perfectly clear & full it will be 
in all Respects the very same act of mind of 
which it is the Idea, with this only difference 


that the being of the Latter is to Represent the 
former. 1 

[If a man could have an absolutely Perfect 
Idea of all that Pass'd in his mind, all the series 
of Ideas and exercises in every Respect perfect as 
to order, degree, circumstance &c for any particu- 
lar space of time past, suppose the last hour, he 
would Really to all Intents and purpose be over 
again what he was that last hour. And if it were 
possible for a man by Reflection perfectly to con- 
template all that is in his own mind in an hour, as 
it is and at the same time that it is there in its 
first & direct existence; if a man, that is, had a 
perfect Reflex or Contemplative Idea of every 
thought at the same moment or moments that 
that thought was and of every Exercise at & dur- 
ing the same time that that Exercise was, and so 
through a whole hour, a man would Really be 
two during that time, he would be indeed double, 
he would be twice at once. The Idea he has of 
himself would be himself again. 

Note, by having a Reflex or Contemplative Idea 
of what Passes in our own minds I dont mean 
Consciousness only. There is a Great difference 
between a mans having a view of himself, Reflex 

l The next three paragraphs were inserted at a later date. 


or Contemplative Idea of himself so as to delight 
in his own beauty or Excellency, and a meer di- 
rect Consciousness. Or if we mean by Conscious- 
ness of what is in our own minds any thing be- 
sides the meer simple Existence in our minds of 
what is there, it is nothing but a Power by Re- 
flection to view or contemplate what passes. 

But the foregoing position, about a mans being 
twofold or twice at once, is most evident by what 
has been said of the nature of spiritual Ideas, 
for every thing that a man is in that hour he 
is twice fully & Perfectly. For all the Ideas 
or thoughts that he has are twice Perfectly & 
every Judgmt [Judgment] made and every exer- 
cise of Inclination or affection, every act of the 

Therefore as G. with Perfect Clearness, fullness 
& strength, understands himself, views his own 
essence (in which there is no Distinction of sub- 
stance & act but which is wholly substance & 
wholly act), that Idea which G. hath of himself 
is absolutely himself. This Representation of 
the divine nature & essence is the divine nature 
& essence again: so that by Gods thinking of 
the Deity must certainly be generated. Hereby 
there is another Person begotten, there is another 


Infinite Eternal Almighty & most holy & the 
same G., the very same divine nature. 

And this Person is the second Person in the 
Trinity, the Only begotten & dearly beloved Son 
of G.; he is the Eternal, necessary, Perfect, sub- 
stantial & Personal Idea which G. hath of him 
self; <fe that it is so seems to me to be abun- 
dantly confirmed by the word of G. 

1. Nothing can more agree with the account 
the Scripture gives us of the Son of G., his being 
in the form of G. and his express & Perfect 
Image & Representation: 2 Cor. 4, 4, Lest the 
Light of the glorious Gosp. of X who is the 
Image of G. should shine unto them. Philip. 2, 
6, who being in the form of G. Colos. 1. 15, who 
is the Image of the Invisible G. Heb. 1. 3, who 
being the brightness of his Glory & the express 
Image of his Person. 1 [In the original it is 
XapatcTrjp rf}<; biroo-rdo-eas dvrov which denotes one 
Person as like another as the Impression on the wax 
is to the engraving on the seal. (Hurrion, "of 
X Crucified," vol. 1, p. 189, 190.); & what can 
more agree with this that I suppose, that the Son 
of God is the divine Idea of Himself.] What [can] 

1 What next follows, within brackets, is a later insertion. The 
volume referred to first appeared in 1727. 


be more properly called the Image of a thing than 
the Idea. The end of other Images is to beget 
an Idea of the things they Eepresent in us, but 
the Idea is the most Immediate Representation, & 
seems therefore to be a more primary sort of 
Image, & we know of no other spiritual Images 
nor Images of spiritual things but Ideas. An 
Idea of a thing seems more properly to be called 
an Image or Representation of that thing than 
any distinct being can be. However exactly one 
being — suppose one human body — be like an- 
other, yet I think one is not in the most Proper 
sense the Image of the other but more properly 
in the Image of the other. Adam did not beget 
a son that was his Image Properly, but in his 
Image ; but the Son of G. — he is not only in the 
Image of the F., but he is the Image itself in the 
most Proper sense. The design of an Idea is to 
Represent, & the very being of an Idea consists 
in similitude & Representation : if it dont actu- 
ally Represent to the beholder, it ceases to be. 
And the being of it is Immediately dependent on 
its Pattern : its Reference to that ceasing, it ceases 
to be its Idea. 

That X is this most Immediate Representation 
of the Godhead, viz. the idea of G., is in my ap- 


prehension confirmed by Joh. 12, 45, he that 
seeth me seeth him that sent me, and Joh. 14, 7, 
8, 9, if ye had known me ye should have known 
my F. also and from henceforth ye know him and 
have seen him. Philip saith unto him, L. shew us 
the F. and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him 
have I been so long time with you, and yet hast 
thou not seen me Philip, he that hath seen me hath 
seen the F. and how saist [sayestj thou shew us the 

F. See also John 15, 22, 23, 24. Seeing the Per- 
fect Idea of a thing is to all Intents and purposes 
the same as seeing the thing : it is not only equiva- 
lent to the seeing of it but it is the seeing it : 
for there is no other seeing but having the Idea. 
Now by seeing a Perfect Idea, so far as we see it, 
we have it. But it cant be said of any thing else 
that in the seeing of it we see another, strictly 
speaking, except it be the very Idea of the other. 

2. This well agrees with what the SS. teach 
us ever was Gods Love to and delight in 
his Son. For the Idea of G. is that Image of 

G. that is the object of Gods eternal and In- 
finite Love & in which he hath perfect Joy & 
happiness. God undoubtedly Infinitely loves & 
delights in himself & is Infinitely happy in the 
understanding & view of his own glorious es- 


sence: this is commonly said. The same the 
Scripture teaches us concerning that Image of 
G. that is his Son. The Son of G. — he is the 
true David or beloved. Joh. 3, 35 & 5, 20. 
The F. loveth the Son. So it was declared 
at Xs Baptism and transfiguration, this is my 
beloved Son in whom I am well Pleased. So the 
Father calls him his elect in whom his soul de- 
lighteth. The Infinite happiness of the F. consists 
in the enjoymt. [enjoyment] of his Son : Prov. 8, 
30, I was daily his delight i.e. before the world 
was. It seems to me most Probable that G. has 
his Infinite happiness but one way, & that the In- 
finite Joy he has in his own Idea & that which he 
has in his Son are but one & the same. 

3. X is called the face of G., Exod. 33, 14 : the 
word in the original signifies face, looks, form or 
appearance. Now what can be so Properly & 
fitly called so with Respect to G. as Gods own 
Perfect Idea of himself whereby he has every 
moment a view of his own essence : this Idea is 
that face of God which G. sees as a man sees his 
own face in a looking glass. Tis of such form or 
appearance whereby G. eternally appears to him- 
self. The Root that the original word comes 
from signifies to look upon or behold : now what 


is that which G. looks upon or beholds in so Em- 
minent a manner as he doth on his own Idea or 
that perfect Image of himself which he has in 
view. This is what is eminently in Gods Pres- 
ence & is therefore called the angel of Gods 
Presence or face. Isai. 63, 9. 

4. This seems also well to agree with X being 
called the brightness, effulgence or shining forth 
of Gods Glory upon two accounts: 1 ? because 
tis by Gods Idea that his Glory shines forth & 
appears to himself. G, may be concieved of as 
Glorious antecedent to his Idea of himself, but 
then his Glory is Latent ; but tis the Idea by which 
it shines forth and appears to Gods view so that 
he can delight in it. 2. God is well Represented 
by the Luminary & His Idea by the Light, for 
what is so Properly the Light of a mind or spirit 
as its knowledge or understanding ? The under- 
standing or knowledge of G. is much more prop- 
erly Represented by Light in a Luminary than 
the understanding of a created mind, for knowl- 
edge is light Rather let into a created mind than 
shining from it, but the understanding of the di- 
vine mind originally Proceeds from this mind it 
self & is derived from no other. 

5. But That the Son of G. is Gods own eter- 


nal and Perfect Idea is a thing we have yet 
much more expressly Kevealed in Gods word. 
First, in that X is called the wisdom of G. If 
we are taught in the Scripture that X is the 
same with Gods wisdom or knowledge, then it 
teaches us that he is the same with Gods perfect 
and eternal Idea. They are the same as we have 
already observed and I suppose none will deny. 
But X is said to be the wisdom of G. : 1 Cor. 1, 
24, Luke 11, 49, compare with Math. 23, 34 ; and 
how much doth X speak in Prov. under the name 
of wisdom especially in the 8 chap. We there 
have Wisdom thus declaring, 22 v., The L. Pos- 
sessed me in the beginning of his way before his 
works of old. I was set up from everlasting or 
ever the earth was, when there were no depths I 
was brought forth, when there were no fountains 
abounding with water. Before the mountains 
were settled, before the hills was I brought forth. 
While as yet he had not made the earth nor the 
fields nor the highest part of the dust of the world. 
When he Prepared the heavens I was there, when 
he set a compass upon the face of the depth. 
When he established the clouds &c. 30 v. Then 
was I by him as one brought up with him and I 
was daily his delight, Rejoicing alwaies before 


him, Rejoicing in the habitable part of his Earth, 
and my delights were with the sons of men. It 
has been usual to say that he that G. Possessed 
& set up from Everlasting & that was brought 
forth before the world was, that was by G. as his 
Companion and as one brought up with him, that 
was daily his delight, was the Personal wisdom of 
G. and if so it was Gods Personal Idea of him- 

Secondly, in That the SS. teaches us that X is 
the Logos of G. It will appear that this Logos is 
the same with the Idea of G., whether we Inter- 
pret it of the Reason of G. or the word of G. If 
it signifies the Reason & understanding of G., I 
suppose it wont be denied that tis the same thing 
with God's Idea. If we translate it the word of 
G. ? he is either the outward word of G., or his In- 
ward. None will say he is his outward. Now 
the outward word is speech whereby Ideas are 
outwardly expressed. The Inward word is thought 
or Idea it self. The SS. being its own Interpreter 
see how often is thinking in SS. called saying or 
speaking, when applied to both G. & men. The 
Inward word is the Pattern or original of which 
the outward word by which G. has Revealed him- 
self is the copy. Now that which is the original 


from whence the Revelation which G. hath made 
of himself is taken & the Pattern to which it is 
conformed, is Gods Idea of himself. When G. 
declares himself it is doubtless from & according 
to the Idea he hath of himself. 

Thirdly, to the same purpose is another name 
by which X is called, viz. the AMEN, which is a 
Hebrew word that signifies truth. Now what is 
that which is the Prime, original &> universal truth 
but that which is in the divine mind, viz. his Eter- 
nal or Infinite knowledge or Idea. 

& joining this with what was observed before, 
I think we may be bold to say that that which is 
the form, face & express & perfect Image of G., 
in beholding which is his eternal delight, & is 
also the wisdom & kn owledge, Logos & 
truth of G., is Gods Idea of himself. What 
other knowledge of G. is there that is the form, 
appearance & perfect Image and Representation 
of G. but Gods Idea of himself. 

& how well doth this agree with his office of 
being the Great Prophet & teacher of mankind, 
the Light of the World and the Revealer of G. to 
creatures: John 8, 12, I am the Light of the 
world. Math., 11, 27, no manknoweth the Father 
save the Son and he to whomsoever the Son will 


.Reveal him. Joh. 1, 18, no man hath seen G. at 
any time, the only begotten Son which is in the 
Bosom of the F., he hath declared him. Who can 
be so Properly appointed to be Revealer of G. to 
the world as that Person who is Gods own Perfect 
Idea or understanding of himself. Who can be so 
Properly generated to be the light by which Gods 
Glory shall appear to creatures, as he is[ — ]that 
effulgence of his Glory by which he appears to him- 
self. & this is Intimated to us in the SS. to be the 
Reason why X is the Light of the world & the 
Revealer of G. to men because he is the Image of 
G., 2 Cor. 4, 4, Least [Lest] the Light of the 
Glorious Gosp. of X. who is the Image of G. should 
shine unto them. Joh. 12, 45, 46, and he that 
seeth me seeth him that sent me, I am come a 
light into the world that whosoever believeth on 
me should not abide in darkness. 

The Godhead being thus begotten by Gods lov- 
ing an Idea of himself &> shewing forth in a dis- 
tinct subsistence or Person in that Idea, there 
Proceeds a most Pure act, & an Infinitely holy & 
sacred energy arises between the F. & Son in 
mutually Loving & delighting in each other, for 
their love & Joy is mutual, Prov. 8, 30, 1 was daily 
his delight Rejoicing alwaies before him. This is 


the eternal & most Perfect & essential act of the 
divine nature, wherin the Godhead acts to an In- 
finite degree and in the most Perfect manner Pos- 
sible. The deity becomes all act, the divine es- 
sence it self flows out & is as it were breathed 
forth in Love & Joy. So that the Godhead 
therm stands forth in yet another manner of sub- 
sistence, & there Proceeds the 3d Person in the 
Trinity, the holy spirit, viz. the Deity in act, for 
there is no other act but the act of the will. 

1. We may learn by the word of G. that the 
Godhead or the divine nature & essence does sub- 
sist in love. 1 Joh. 4, 8, he that loveth not 
knoweth not G. for G. is Love. In the context of 
which Place I think it is Plainly Intimated to us 
that the holy spirit is that Love, as in the 12 & 13 
v. If we love one another, G. dwelleth in us and 
his Love is perfected in us ; hereby know we that 
we dwell in him because he hath given us of his 
spirit. Tis the same argument in Both verses. In 
the 12 v. the apostle argues that if we have love 
dwelling in us we have G. dwelling in us, and in 
the 13 v. he clears the force of the argument by 
this that love is God's Spirit. Seeing we have Gods 
spirit dwelling in us, we have G. dwelling in [in 
us], supposing it as a thing granted & allowed that 


Gods spirit is G. Tis evident also by this that Gods 
dwelling in us & his Love or the Love that he 
hath or exerciseth, being in us, are the same thing. 
The same is intimated in the same manner in the 
Last verse of the foregoing chap. The apostle was, 
in the foregoing verses, speaking of Love as a sure 
sign of sincerity & our acceptance with G., begin- 
ning with the 18 v., & he sums up the argument 
thus in the last verse, & hereby do we know that he 
abideth in us by the spirit that he hath given us. 

Again in the 16 v. of this 4 chap., the Apostle 
tells us that G. is Love & he that dwelleth in 
Love dwelleth in G. & G. in him, which confirms 
not only that the divine nature subsists in love, 
but also that this love is the Sp., for it is the Spirit 
of G. by which G. dwells in his saints, as the apos- 
tle had observed in the 13 verse and as we are 
abundantly taught in the New Test. 

2. The name of the third 6 Person in the Trinity, 
viz. the Holy Sp. confirms it : it naturally ex- 
presses the divine nature as subsisting in pure act 
& Perfect Energy, & as flowing out & breathing 
forth in Infinitely sweet and vigorous affection. 
It is confirmed both by his being called the Spirit 
& by his being denominated holy. 1. By his be- 
ing called the Sp. of G. : the word Sp. in SS. 


when used concerning minds, when it is not put 
for the spiritual substance or mind it self, is put for 
the disposition, Inclination or temper of the mind : 
Numb. 14, 24, Caleb was of another Sp. Ps. 51, 
10, Kenew in me a Eight Sp. Luke 9, 55, Ye 
know not what manner of Sp. ye are of. S. 1 
Thes. 5, 23, 1 Pray G. your whole Sp. soul & body, 
1 Pet. 3, 4, The ornament of a meek & quiet Sp. 
When we Read of the spirit of a spirit or mind it 
is to be thus understood. Eph. 4, 27, be Renewed 
in the spirit of your mind. So I suppose when 
we Read of the Sp. of G. who we are told is a Sp., 
it is to be understood of the disposition or temper 
or affection of the divine mind. If we Read or 
hear of the meek spirit or kind spirit or pious &, 
holy spirit of a man we understand it of his tem- 
per: so I suppose we Read of the Good Sp. & 
holy Sp. of G., it is likewise to be understood of 
Gods temper. Now the sum of God's temper or 
disposition is love, for he is Infinite love &, as I 
observed before, here is no distinction to be made 
between habit & act, between temper or disposi- 
tion & exercise. This is the divine disposition or 
nature that we are made partakers of, 2 Pet. 1, 4, 
for our partaking or communion with G. consists 
in the Communion or partaking of the H. G. 


& It is further confirmed by his being Pecul- 
iarly denominated holy. The Father & the Son 
are both Infinitely holy & the holy Gh. [Ghost] 
can be no holier. But yet the Spirit is especially 
called holy, which doubtless denotes some Pecul- 
iarity in the manner in which holiness is attributed 
to him. But upon this supposition the matter is 
easily & clearly explicable. For 1st, it is in the 
temper or disposition of a mind & its exercise 
that holiness is Immediately seated. A mind is 
said to be holy from the holiness of its temper & 
disposition. 2. Tis in Gods Infinite love to him- 
self that his holiness consists. As all Creature 
holiness is to be Resolved into love, as the SS. 
teaches us, so doth the holiness of G. himself con- 
sist in Infinite love to himself. Gods holiness is 
the Infinite beauty & excellence of his nature, & 
Gods excellency consists in his Love to himself as 
we have observed in 1 

[That the Sp. of God is the very same with Ho- 
liness (as tis in God, tis the Holiness of God, and 
as tis in the Creature, tis the holiness of the creat- 
ure), appears by John 3, 6, That which is born of 
the flesh is Flesh & that which is born of the 
spirit is spirit. Here tis very manifest that flesh 

1 The next paragraph is a much later insertion. 


& spirit are opposed to one another as true con- 
traries, and tis also acknowledged by orthodox di- 
vines in general that by the flesh is meant sin or 
corruption and, therefore by the spirit is meant its 
contrary, viz. Holiness, & that is evidently Xs 
meaning, that which is born of the flesh is corrupt 
& filthy, but that which is born of the spirit is 


3. This is very consonant to the office of the 
holy Ghost or his work with Respect to Creatures, 
which is threefold, viz. to quicken, enliven & 
beautify all things, to sanctify Intelligent [beings] 
& to comfort & delight them. 1. he quickens & 
beautifies all things. So we Read that the Sp. of 
G. moved upon the face of the waters or of the 
Chaos to bring it out of its Confusion into har- 
mony & beauty. So we read, Job 26 13, That G. 
by his Spirit garnished the heavens. Now whose 
office can it be so Properly to actuate & enliven 
all things as his who is the Eternal & essential act 
& energy of G. & whose office can it be so Properly 
to give all things their sweetness & beauty as he 
who is himself the beauty & Joy of the -Creator. 
2. Tis he that sanctifies created Sp. ? that is, he 
gives them divine Love, for the 88. teaches us 
that all holiness & true Grace & virtue is Resolv- 


able into that as its universal spring & Principle. 
As it is the office of the Person that is Gods Idea 
& understanding to be the light of the world, to 
communicate understanding, so tis the office of 
the Person that is Gods Love to communicate 
divine love to the Creature. In so doing, Gods 
spirit or love doth but communicate of it self. Tis 
the same love so far as a Creature is capable of 
being made partaker of it. Gods Sp. or his love 
doth but, as it were, come and dwell in our hearts 
and act there as a vital Principle, and we become 
the living temples of the holy GL, & when men 
are Eegenerated & sanctified, G. Pours forth of 
his Sp. upon them and they have fellowship or, 
which is the same thing, are made partakers with 
the F. & Son of their love, i. e. of their Joy & 
beauty. Thus the matter is Kepresented in the 
Gospel — and this agreable to what was taken no- 
tice of before — of the Apostle John, his making 
love dwelling in us & Gods Spirit dwelling in us 
the same thing, and the explaining of them one 
by another, 1 Joh. 4, 12, 13. 

"When X says to his F., Joh. 17, 26, and I have 
declared unto them thy name &> will declare it, 
that the Love wherewith thou hast loved me may 
be in them and I in them, I cant think of any 


way that this will appear so Easy and Intelligible 
as upon this hypothesis, viz. that the love with 
which the F. loveth the Son is the H. Sp., that X 
here concludeth & sums up his Prayer for his dis- 
ciples with the Request that the holy Sp. might 
be in his disciples & so he might be in them there- 
by, for X dwells in his disciples by his Sp., as X 
teaches in Joh. 14, 16, 17, 18, I will give you an- 
other Comforter — even the Spirit of truth — he 
shall be in you. I will not leave you Comfortless, 
I will come unto you. And the apostle, Rom. 8, 
9, 10, If so be the Sp. of G. dwell in you. Now if 
any man have not the Sp. of X he is none of his, 
& if X be in you the body is dead. 1 

[Mr. Howes observation from the 5 Chap, of Gal. 
is here pertinent : Of [from] his Sermons on the 
Prosperous State of the Xtian Interest before the 
End of Time, Published by Mr. Evans p. 185. 
His words are, Walking in the Spirit is directed 
with a special Eye & Reference unto the exer- 
cise of this love, as you see in Gal. 5, 14, 15, 16, 
[in the] verses compared together. All the law is 
fulfilled in one word (he means the whole law of 
the second Table) even in this thou shalt love 

i The next paragraph is a later insertion,— of course earlier than 
1726, when this edition of Howe was issued. 


thy neighb. as thy self. But if ye bite and de- 
vour one another (the opposite to this Love or 
that which follows upon the want of it, or from 
the opposite principle) take heed that ye be not 
consumed one of another. This I say then (ob- 
serve the inference) walk in the Spirit & ye 
shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. To walk in 
the Spirit is to walk in the Exercise of this Love. 
The SS. seems in many Places to speak of Love 
in Xtians as if it were the same with the Sp. of 
G. in them, or at Least as the Prime and most 
natural breathing & acting of the Sp. in the soul. 
Philip 2, 1, if there be therefore any Consola- 
tion in X, any Comfort of Love, any fellowship of 
the Sp., any bowels & mercies, fulfill ye my Joy 
that ye be likeminded having the same love being 
of one accord, of one mind. 2 Cor. 6, 6, by kind- 
ness, by the H. Gh., by Love unfeigned. Rom. 15, 
30 : Now I beseech you brethren for the L. J. X 
sake and for the love of the Sp. Coloss. 1, 8, 
who declared unto us your love in the Sp. Rom- 
5, 5, having the love of G, shed abroad in our 
hearts by the H. Gh. which is Given to us. (See 
notes on this Text.) Gal. 5, 13, 14, 15, 16, Use 
not liberty for an occasion to the flesh. But by 
love serve one another, for all the law is ful- 


filled in one word even in this, thou shalt love thy 
neighbour as thy self. But if ye Bite & devour 
one another take heed that ye be not consumed 
one of another. This I say then, walk in the Sp. 
& ye shall not fulfill the Lusts of the flesh. The 
Apostle argues that Xtian liberty dont make way 
for fulfilling the lusts of the flesh in biting &> de- 
vouring one another & the like, because a princi- 
ple of Love which was the fulfilling of the Law 
would Prevent it, & in the 16 v. he asserts the 
same thing in other words : This I say then walk 
in the Sp. & ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the 

The third & last office of the H. Spirit is to 
comfort & delight the souls of Gds People, & 
thus one of his names is the Comforter, & thus 
we have the phrase of Joy in the H. Gh. 1 Thes. 
1, 6 : having Received the word in much affliction 
with Joy of the H. Gh. Eom. 14, 17, the king- 
dom of G. is High. & Peace &> Joy in the H. Gh. 
Act 9, 31, walking in the fear of the Lord & 
comfort of the holy Ghost, but how well doth 
this agree with the H. Gh. being God's Joy & 
delight: Acts 13, 52, and the disciples were 
filled with Joy & with the holy Gh. — meaning as 
I suppose that they were filled with spiritual joy. 


4. This is confirmed By the symbol of the H. 
Gh., viz. a dove, which is the Emblem of Love or 
a lover and is so used in SS. and especially often 
so in Solomons Song, Cant. 1, 15, Behold thou 
art fair, my Love, behold thou art fair, thou hast 
Doves Eyes : i.e. Eyes of love, & again 4, 1, the 
same words, & 5, 12, his Eyes are as the eyes of 
doves, & 5, 2, my Love, my dove, & 2, 14, & 6, 9 ; 
and this I believe to be the Reason that the dove 
alone of all birds (except the sparrow in the 
single case of the Leprosy) was appointed to be 
offered in sacrifice because of its Innocency and 
because it is the emblem of love, love being the 
most acceptable sacrifice to God. it was under 
this similitude that the Holy Ghost descended 
from the F. on X at his Baptism, signifying the 
Infinite love of the F. to the So, who is the true 
David, or beloved, as we said before. The same 
was signified by what was exhibited to the Eye 
in the appearance there was of the holy Gh. de- 
scending from the F. to the S. in the shape of a 
dove, as was signified by what was exhibited to 
the eye in the voice there was at the same time, 
viz., This is my well beloved Son in whom I am 
well pleased. 1 

1 The next paragraph is a late insertion. 


[Holy Ghost, Love, represented by the Symbol 
of a dove. In the beginning of Genesis it is said 
the spirit of God moved upon the Face of the 
waters. The word translated moved in the orig- 
inal is MBtinti, which as Buxtorf & Grotius observe, 
properly signifies the Brooding of a dove upon her 
Eggs. See Buxtorf on the Radix srn & Grotius's 
truth of the Xtian R. B. 1, Sect. 16, notes, where 
Grotius observes that the Meracheth also signifies 
Love. See my notes on Gen. 1, 2.] 

5. This is confirmed from the types of the H. 
Gh., and especially from that type of oil which is 
often used as a type of the Holy Gh. & may well 
Represent divine [love] from its soft, smooth, flow- 
ing & diffusive nature. Oil is from the Olive 
Tree which was of old used to betoken Love, Peace 
& friendship. That was signified by the olive 
branch with which the dove Returned to Noah. 
It was a token for and a sign of God's love and 
favour, after so terrible a manifestation of his dis- 
pleasure as the deluge. The olive branch & the 
dove that brought it were both the Emblems of 
the same, viz., the Love of God. But especially 
did the holy anointing oil, the Principal type of 
the H. Gh., Represent the divine love & delight, 
by Reason of its excellent sweetness & fragrancy. 


Love is expressly said to be like it in Scripture in 

the 133 Ps. 20, Behold how Good x 

[That God's Love or his Loving kindness is the 
same with the Holy Ghost seems to be plain by 
Ps. 36, 7, 8, 9 : How excellent (or how precious, as 
'tis in the Hebrew) is thy loving kindness O God, 
therefore the children of men put their trust 
under the shadow of thy wings, they shall be 
abundantly satisfied (in the Hebrew watered) 
with the fatness of thy house & thou shalt make 
them to drink of the river of thy pleasures, for 
with thee is the fountain of Life & in thy light 
shall we see light. Doubtless that precious Lov- 
ing kindness & that fatness of God's House & 
Kiver of his pleasures & the water of the fountain 
of Life & Gods light here spoken [of] are the same 
thing : by which we learn that the Holy anointing 
oil that was kept in the House of God, which was 
a type of the Holy Ghost, represented Gods Love, 
& that the Kiver of water of Life, spoken of in 
the 22. of Revelation, which proceeds out of the 
throne of God & of the Lamb, which is the same 
with Ezekiel's vision of Living and life-giving 
water, which is here called the fountain of Life & 
river of Gods pleasures, is Gods Loving-kindness. 

1 The next paragraph is a much later insertion. 


But X himself expressly teaches us that By spir- 
itual fountains & rivers of water of Life is meant 
the Holy Ghost. Joh. 4, 14 & 7, 38, 39. 1 That 
by the River of Gods Pleasures here is meant the 
same thing with that pure River of water of Life 
spoken of in Rev. 22. 1 will be much confirmed if 
we compare those verses with Rev. 21. 23, 24 & 
Chap. 22. 1, 5. (see the note on Chap. 21, 23, 24.) 
I think if we compare these places & weigh them 
we cannot doubt but that it is the same Happi- 
ness that is meant in this Psalm which is spoken 
of there.] 

6. So this well agrees with the similitudes and 
metaphors that are used about the holy Gh. in 
SS., such as water, fire, breath, wind, oil, wine, a 
spring, a River, a being Poured out <fc shed forth, 
a being breathed forth. Can there any spirituall 
thing be thought, or any thing belonging to any 
spiritual being to which such kind of metaphors 
so naturally agree, as to the affection of a Sp. 
The affection, Love or Joy, may be said to flow 
out as Water or to be breathed forth as breath or 
wind. But it would [not] sound so well to say 
that an Idea or Judgm*. flows out or is Breathed 
forth. It is no way different to say of the affec- 

1 What follows is evidently added at a still later time. 


tion that it is warm, or to compare love to fire, 
but it would not seem natural to say the same of 
Perception or Keason. It seems natural Enough 
to say that the soul is Poured out in affection or 
that Love or delight are shed abroad: Tit. 3, 5, 
6, the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, 
but it suits with nothing else belonging to a spir 
itual being. 

This is that River of water of life spoken of 
in the 22 of Rev., which Proceeds from the 
throne of the Father & the Son, for the Rivers 
of Living water or water of Life are the H. Gh., 
by the same apostles own Interpretation, Joh. 7, 
38, 39 ; & the Holy Gh. being the Infinite Delight 
& Pleasure of G., the River is called the River of 
Gods Pleasures, Ps. 36, 8, not Gods River of 
Pleasures, which I suppose signifies the same as 
the fatness of Gods house, which they that trust 
in God shall be watered with, by which fatness 
of Gods house I suppose is signified the same 
thing which oil typifies. 

7. It is a Confirmation that the holy Gh. is 
Gods Love & Delight, Because the saints Com- 
munion with G. consists in their Partaking of the 
H. Gh. The Communion of saints is twofold: 
tis their Communion with G. & Communion with 


one another : 1 Job. 1, 3, That ye also may have 
fellowship with us & truly our fellowship is with 
the F. & with his son J. X. Communion is a 
Common Partaking of Good, either of excellency 
or happiness, so that when it is said the saints 
have Communion or fellowship with the F. & 
with the Son, the meaning of it is that they Par- 
take with the F. & the Son of their Good, which 
is either their excellency & glory, (2 Pet. 1, 4, ye 
are made Partakers of the divine nature ; Heb. 
12, 4, that we might be Partakers of his holiness ; 
Joh. 17, 22, 23, & the Glory which thou hast given 
me I have given them that they may be one even 
as we are one I in them & thou in me) ; or of 
their Joy & happiness: Joh. 17, 13, that they 
may have my Joy fulfilled in themselves. But 
the Holy Gh., Being the Love & Joy of G., is his 
beauty & happiness, & it is in our partaking of 
the same holy Sp. that our Communion with G. 
consists: 2 Cor. 13, 14, The Grace of the L. J. X 
& the love of G. & the Communion of the Holy 
Ghost be with you all, Amen. They are not 
different benefits but the same that the Apostle 
here wisheth, viz. the Holy Ghost : in partaking 
of the holy Ghost, we possess & enjoy the Love 
& Grace of the F. & the Son, for the Holy Gh. is 


that love & Grace, & therefore I suppose it is 
that in that forementioned Place, 1 Joh. 1, 3, we 
are said to have fellowship with" the Son & not 
with the H. GL, because therein consists our fel- 
lowship with the Father & the Son, even in par- 
taking with them of the H. Gh. In this also 
eminently consists our Communion with the Son 
that we drink into the same Sp. This is the 
common Excellency & Joy & happines in which 
they all are united ; tis the bond of Perfectness by 
which they are one in the F. & the Son as the F. 
is in the Son . . . 

8. I can think of no other good account that 
can be given of the apostle Pauls wishing Grace 
and Peace from G. the F. & the L. J. X. in the 
Beginning of his Epistles, without ever mentioning 
the H. Gh., — as we find it thirteen times in his 
salutations in the beginnings of his Epistles, — But 
[i. e. 7 except] that the Holy Gh. is himself Love and 
Grace of G. the F. & the L. J. X. ; & in his bless- 
ing at the End of his second Epistle to the Cor- 
inthians where all three Persons are mentioned he 
wishes Grace and love from the Son and the F [ex- 
cept that], in the Communion or the Partaking of the 
holy Gh., the blessing is from the F. & the Son is 
the H. Gh. But the blessing from the holy Gh. is 


himself, the communication of himself. John 14, 
21, 23, X Promises that he and the Father will 
Love believers, but no mention is made of the 
holy Ghost, and the Love of X and the Love of 
the Father are often distinctly mentioned, but 
never any mention of the Holy Ghosts Love. 1 

[This I suppose to be the reason why we have 
never any account of the Holy Ghosts Loving 
either the Father or the Son, or of the Sons or 
the Fathers Loving the Holy Ghost, or of the 
Holy Ghosts Loving the saints, tho these things 
are so often Predicated of Both the other Persons.] 

& This I suppose to be that Blessed Trinity 
that we Bead of In the Holy SS. The F. is the 
Deity subsisting in the Prime, unoriginated & 
most absolute manner, or the deity in its direct 
existence The Son is the deity generated by 
Gods understanding, or having an Idea of himself 
& subsisting in that Idea. The Holy Gh. is the 
Deity subsisting in act, or the divine essence flow- 
ing out and Breathed forth in Gods Infinite love 
to & delight in himself. & I believe the whole 
divine Essence does Truly & distinctly subsist 
both in the divine Idea & divine Love, and that 
each of them are Properly distinct Persons. 

1 The next paragraph is a later insertion. 


& It confirms me in it that this is the True 
Trinity because Eeason is sufficient to tell us that 
there must be these distinctions In the deity, viz., 
of G. (absolutely considered), & the Idea of G., & 
Love & delight, & there are no other Real distinc- 
tions in G. that can be thought. There are but 
these three distinct Eeal things in G. Whatso- 
ever else can be mentioned in G. are nothing 
but meer modes or Relations of Existence. There 
are his attributes of Infinity, Eternity and Immor- 
tality; they are meer modes of existence. There is 
Gods understanding, his wisdom & omniscience 
that we Have shewn to be the same with his Idea, 
There is Gods will, But this is not Really distin- 
guished from his love, But is the same but only 
with a different Relation. As the sum of Gods 
understanding consists in his having an Idea of 
himself, so the sum of his will or Inclination con- 
sists in his loving himself, as we have already 
observed. There is Gods Power or Ability to 
bring things to Pass. But this is not Really dis- 
tinct from his understanding & will; it is the same 
but only with the Relation they have to those ef- 
fects that are, or are to be Produced. There is 
Gods holiness, but this is the same, as we have 
shewn in what we have said of the nature of ex- 


cellency, with his love to himself. There is Gods 
Justice, which is not Keally distinct from his holi- 
ness. There are the attributes of Goodness, mercy 
and Grace, but these are but the overflowing of 
Gods Infinite love. The sum of all Gods Love is 
his Love to himself. These three, G., and the Idea 
of G., & the Inclination, affection & love of G., 
must be conceived as Keally distinct. But as for 
all these other things of extent, duration, being 
with or without change, ability to do, they are not 
distinct Real things even in created spirits but 
only meer modes and Relations. So that our 
natural Reason is sufficient to tell us that there 
are these three in G., and we can think of no 

It is a maxim amongst divines that everything 
that is in G. is G. which must be understood of 
Real attributes and not of meer modalities. If a 
man should tell me that the Immutability of G. is 
G. or that the omnipresence of G. & authority of 
G., is God, I should not be able to think of any 
Rational meaning of what he said. It hardly 
sounds to me Proper to say that Gods being with- 
out change is G., or that Gods being Every where 
is God, or that Gods having a Right of Government 
over Creatures is G. But if it be meant that the 


Real attributes of G., viz. his understanding & love 
are G., then what we have said may in some meas- 
ure explain how it is so, for deity subsists in them 
distinctly ; so they are distinct divine persons. We 
find no other attributes of which it is said that 
they are G. in SS. or that G. is they, but -40709 & 
Ayami^ the Reason & the Love of G. Joh. 1, 1, &, 
1 Joh. 4, 8, 16. Indeed it is said that G. is Light, 
1 Joh. 1, 5, But what can we understand by di- 
vine light different from the divine Reason or un- 
derstanding ? The same apostle tells us that X is 
the True Light, Joh. 1, 9, & the apostle Paul tells 
us that he is the effulgence of the Fathers Glory, 
Heb. 1, 3. 1 

[This is that Light that the Holy Ghost in the 
Prophet Daniel says dwells with God, Dan. 2, 22, 
& the Light dwelleth with him, — the same with 
that word or Reason that the apostle John says, 1 
Chap, of his Gospel, was with God & was God, 
that he there says is the true Light, and speaks 
much of, vide that Chapter, v. 4, 5, 7, 8, 9. This is 
that Wisdom that says in the 8 of Prov., 30 v, that 
he was by God as one brought up with him. This 
is the Light with respect to which especially God 
the Father may be called the Father of Lights.] 

1 The next paragraph is inserted later. 


One of the Principal Objections that I can 
think of against what has been supposed is con- 
cerning the Personality of the holy Gh. — that this 
scheme of things dont seem well to consist with 
[the fact] that a person is that which hath under- 
standing & will. If the three in the Godhead are 
Persons they doubtless each of them have under- 
standing, but this makes the understanding one 
distinct person & Love another. How therefore 
can this Love be said to have understanding? (Here 
I would observe that divines have not been wonl 
to suppose that these three had three distinct un- 
derstandings, but all one and the same understand- 
ing.) In order to clear up this matter Let it be 
considered that the whole divine office is supposed 
truly & Properly to subsist in Each of these three; 
viz., G. & his understanding & love, & that there 
is such a wonderfull union between them thai 
they are, after an Ineffable & Inconcievable man- 
ner, one in another, so that one hath another & they 
have communion in one another & are as it were 
Predicable one of another ; as X said of himself 
& the R, I am in the F & the P. in me, so maj 
it be said concerning all the Persons in the Trini 
ty, the F. is in the Son & the S. in the F., th* 
H. Gh. is in the F., & the F. in the H. Gh., the 


H. Gh. is in the S. & the Son in the H. GL, & the 
F. understands because the Son who is the divine 
understanding is in him, the F. loves because the 
H. Gh, is in him, so the Son loves because the H. 
Gh. is in him & proceeds from him, so the H. Gh. 
or the divine essence subsisting is divine, but un- 
derstands because the Son the divine Idea is in 
him. Understanding may be Predicated of this 
Love because it is the love of the understanding 
both objectively & subjectively. G. loves the 
understanding & that understanding also flows 
out in love so that the divine understanding is in 
the deity subsisting in love. It is not a blind 
love. Even in Creatures there is Consciousness 
Included in the very nature of the will or act of 
thes soul, & tho perhaps not so that it can so Prop- 
erly be said that it is a seeing or understanding 
will, yet it may truly & properly be said so in G., 
by Eeason of Gods Infinitely more perfect man- 
ner of acting so that the whole divine essence 
flows out & subsists in this act., & the Son is in 
the holy Sp. tho it dont Proceed from him by 
Reason [of the fact] that the understanding must 
be considered as Prior in the order of nature to 
the will or love or act, both in Creatures & in the 
Creator. The understanding is so in the Sp. that 


the Sp. may be said to know, as the Sp. of G, is 
truly & Perfectly said to know & to search all 
things, even the deep things of G. 1 

[All the three are persons for they all have un- 
derstanding & will. There is understanding & 
will in the F., as the Son & the holy Gh. are in 
him & proceed from him. There is understanding 
& will in the Son, as he is understanding & as the 
Holy Gh. is in him & proceeds from him. There 
is understanding & will in the Holy Gh. as he is 
the divine will & as the Son is in him. Nor is it 
to be looked upon as a strange & unreasonable 
figment that the Persons should be said to have 
an understanding or Love by another Persons be- 
ing in them, for we have scripture ground to con- 
clude so concerning the Fathers having wisd. & 
understanding or Reason that it is by the Sons 
being in him; because we are there Informed 
that he is the wisd. & Reason & Truth of G. & 
hereby G. is wise by his own wisdom being in 
him. Understanding & wisdom is in the F. as 
the Son is in him & Proceeds from him. Under- 
standing is in the H. Gh. because the Son is in 
him, not as proceeding from him but as flowing 
out in him.] 

1 The next paragraph is a later insertion. 


But I dont Pretend fully to explain how these 
things are & I am sensible a hundred other ob- 
jections may be made & puzzling doubts & ques- 
tions Raised that I cant solve. I am far from 
Pretending to explaining the Trinity so as to 
Render it no Longer a mystery. I think it to be 
the highest & deepest of all divine mysteries still, 
notwithstanding anything that I have said or con- 
ceived about it. I dont Intend to explain the 
Trinity. But Scripture with Reason may Lead to 
say something further of it than has been wont to 
be said, tho there are still Left many things Per- 
taining to it Incomprehensible. It seems to me 
that what I have here supposed concerning the 
Trinity is exceeding analogous to the Gospel 
scheme and agreeable to the Tenour of the whole 
N. T. & abundantly Illustrative of Gospel doc- 
trines, as might be Particularly shewn, would it not 
exceedingly Lengthen out this discourse. 

I shall only now Briefly observe that many 
things that have been wont to be said by orthodox 
divines about the Trinity are hereby Illustrated. 
Hereby we see how the F. is the fountion of 
the Godhead, & why when he is spoken of in SS. 
he is so often, without any addition or distinction, 
called G. ? which has led some to think that he 


only was truly & properly G. Hereby we may 
see why in the (Economy of the Persons of the 
Trinity the E should sustain the dignity of the 
deity, that the F. should have it as his office to 
uphold & maintain the Eights of the Godhead & 
should be God not only by essence but, as it were, 
by his (economical office. Hereby is illustrated the 
doc. [doctrine] of the H. Gh. Proceeding [from] 
both the F. & the Son. Hereby we see how that 
it is possible for the Son to be begotten by the F. 
& the H. Gh. to Proceed from the F. & Son, & yet 
that all the persons should be Coeternal. Hereby 
we may more clearly understand the Equality of 
the Persons among themselves, & that they are 
every way equal in the society or Family of the 
three. They are equal in honour: besides the 
honour which is common to 'em all, viz. that they 
are all God, each has his peculiar honour in the 
society or family. They are equal not only in es- 
sence, but the Fathers honour is that he is, as it 
were, the author of Perfect & Infinite wisdom. 
The son's honour is that he is that perfect & di- 
vine wisdom itself the excellency of which is that 
from whence arises the honour of being the author 
or Generator of it. The honour of the F. & the 
Son is that they are Infinitely Excellent, or that 


from them Infinite Excellency Proceeds ; but the 
honour of the H. Gh. is equal for he is that di- 
vine excellency & beauty itself. Tis the Honour 
of the F. & the Son that they are Infinitely holy 
and are the fountain of holiness, but the honour 
of the H. Gh. is that holiness itself. The honour 
of the F. & the Son is [that] they are Infinitely 
happy & are the original & fountain of happiness, 
& the honour of the holy Gh. is Equal for he is 
Infinite happiness & Joy itself. The Honour of 
the F. is that he is the fountain of the deity as he 
from whom proceed both the divine wisdom & also 
excellency & happiness. The honour of the Son is 
Equal for he is himself the divine wisd. & is 
he from whom proceeds the divine excellency & 
happiness, & the honour of the Holy Gh. is equal 
for he is the beauty & happiness of both the 
other Persons. 

By this also we may fully understand the 
Equality of Each Person's Concern in the W[ork] 
of Redemption, & the equality of the Redeemeds' 
Concern with them & dependence upon them, & 
the Equality & honour & Praise due to Each of 
them. Glory belongs to the F. & the Son that 
they so greatly Loved the world : to the F. that 
he so Loved that he gave his only begotten Son : 


to the son that he so loved the world as to give 
up himself. But there is Equal Glory due to the 
H. Gh., for he is that Love of the F. & the Son to 
the world. Just so much as the two first Persons 
glorify themselves by showing the astonishing 
greatness of their Love & Grace, Just so much is 
that wonderful Love & Grace glorified who is the 
H. Gh. It shows the Infinite dignity and excel- 
lency of the Father that the Son so delighted & 
prized his honour & glory that he stooped infinite- 
ly Low Rather than [that] men's salvation should 
be to the Injury of that honour & glory. It showed 
the Infinite excellency & worth of the Son that 
the F. so delighted in him that for his sake he 
was Ready to quit his anger & Receive into favour 
those that had [deserved?] Infinitely ill at his 
hands. & what was done shews how great the 
excellency & worth of the H. Gh. who is that de- 
light which the F. & the Son have in Each other : 
it shows it to be Infinite. So great as the worth of 
a thing delighted in is to any one, so great is the 
worth of that delight & Joy itself which he has in it. 
Our dependence is equally upon each in this 
office. The F. appoints & Provides the Redeemer, 
& himself accepts the Price and grants the thing 
purchased ; the Son is the Redeemer by offering 


himself & is the Price ; & the H. Gh. Immediately 
communicates to us the thing Purchased by com- 
municating himself, & he is the thing Purchased. 
The sum of all that X Purchased for men was the 
H. Gh. : GaL 3, 13, 14, he was made a Curse for 
us — that we might Recieve the .Promise of the 
Sp. through Faith. What X Purchased for us 
was that we have Communion with G. [which] 
is his Good, which consists in Partaking of the holy 
Ghost : as we have shown, all the blessedness of 
the Redeemed consists in their Partaking of X's 
fullness, which consists in Partaking of that Spirit 
which is given not by measure unto him : the oil 
that is Poured on the head of the Church Runs 
down to the members of his body and to the skirts 
of his Garment, Ps. 133, 2. X Purchased for us 
that we should have the favour of G. & might 
Enjoy his Love, but this Love is the H. Gh. X 
Purchased for us True spiritual excellency, grace & 
holiness, the sum of which is Love to God, which 
is [nothing] but the Indwelling of the Holy Gh. in 
the heart. X purchased for us spiritual Joy & 
comfort, which is in a participation of God's Joy 
& happiness, which Joy & happiness is the H. Gh., 
as we have shewn. The Holy Gh. is the sum of 
all good things. Good things & the Holy Sp. are 


synonymous expressions in SS. : Math. 7, 11, how 
much more shall your heavenly F. give the Holy 
Sp. to them that ask him. The sum of all spirit- 
ual good which the finite have in this world is 
that spring of living water within them which we 
Read of, Joh. 4, 10, &c, & those Rivers of living 
water flowing out of them which we Read of, Joh. 
7, 38, 39, which we are there told means the H. 
Gh. ; & the sum of all happiness in the other world 
is that River of water of Life which Proceeds out 
of the throne of G. & the Lamb, which we Read 
of, Rev. 22, 1, which is the River of Gods Pleas- 
ures & is the H. Gh. & therefore the sum of the 
Gospel Invitation to come & take the water of 
life, verse 17. The H. Gh. is the Purchased Pos- 
session & Inheritance of the saints, as appears be- 
cause that little of it which the saints have in this 
world is said to be the Ernest of that Purchased 
Inheritance, Eph. 1, 14. 2 Cor. 1, 22 & 5, 5 : tis 
an Ernest of that which we are to have a fullness 
of hereafter. The Holy Gh. is the great subject 
of all gosp. [el] Promises & Therefore is called 
the Sp. of Promise, Eph. 1, 13. This is called the 
Promise of the F., Luke 24, 49, & the like in other 
Places. 1 [If the Holy Gh. be a Comprehension 

1 The next sentence is added as a later footnote. 


of all Good things Promised in the Gospel, we may 
easily see the force of the Apostle's arguing, GaL 
3. 2, This only would I know, Recieved ye the Sp. 
by the works of the Law or by the hearing of 
faith ?] So that Tis G. of whom our good is pur- 
chased & tis G. that Purchases it & tis G. also that 
is the thing Purchased. Thus all our Good things 
are of G. & through God & in G., as we read in 
Rom. 11, 36: "for of him & through him & to him 
(or in him as ek is Rendered, 1 Cor. 8, 6.) are all 
things." To whom be Glory forever. All our 
Good is of G. the F., tis all through G. the Son, & 
all is in the H. Gh., as he is himself all our Good. 
G. is himself the Portion &> purchased Inheritance 
of his People. Thus G. is the Alpha & the Omega 
in this affair of Redemption. If we suppose no 
more than used to be supposed about the H. Gh. 
the Concern of the Holy Gh. in the work of Re- 
demption is not Equal with the Father's & the 
Son's, nor is there an equal part of the Glory of 
this work belonging to him : meerly to apply to us 
or Immediately to give or hand to us the blessing 
purchased, after it was purchased, as subservient 
to the other two persons, is but a little thing [com- 
pared] to the Purchasing of it by the Paying an In- 
finite Price, by X offering up himself in sacrifice to 


procure it, & tis but a little thing to God the 
Fathers giving his Infinitely dear Son to be a 
sacrifice for us & upon his purchase to afford to us 
all the blessings of his purchased. But according 
to this there is an Equality. To be the Love of 
G. to the world is as much as for the F. & the Son 
to do so much from Love to the world, & to be the 
thing Purchased was as much as to be the Price. 
The Price & the thing bought with that Price are 
equal. And tis as much as to afford the thing 
purchased, for the glory that belongs to him that 
affords the thing Purchased arises from the worth 
of that thing that he affords & therefore tis the 
same Glory & an Equal Glory ; the Glory of the 
thing itself is its worth & that is also the Glory 
of him that affords it. 

There are two more Eminent & Remarkable 
Images of the Trinity among the Creatures. The 
one is in the spiritual Creation, the soul of man. 
There is the mind, & the understanding or Idea, 
& the spirit of the mind as it is called in SS. i.e. 
the disposition], the will or affection. The other is 
in the visible Creation viz. the Sun. The father 
is as the substance of the Sun. (By substance I 
dont mean in a philosophical sense, but the Sun 
as to its Internal Constitution.) The Son is as 


the Brightness & Glory of the disk of the Sun or 
that bright & glorious form under which it ap- 
pears to our Eyes. The Holy Gh. is the action of 
the Sun which is within the Sun in its Intestine 
Heat, &, being diffusive, enlightens, warms, en- 
livens & comforts the world. The Sp., as it is 
Gods Infinite love to himself & happiness in him- 
self, is as the internal heat of the Sun, but, as it is 
that by which G. communicates himself, it is as 
the Emanation of the suns action, or the Emitted 
Beams of the sun. 

The various sorts of Bays of the Sun & their 
beautiful Colours do well Bepresent the Sp. 1 
They well [Bepresent the love & grace of G. and 
were made use of for this purpose in the Bain- 
bow after the flood & I suppose also in that Bain- 
bow that was seen Bound about the throne by 
Ezek[iel] : Ezek 1, 28, Bev. 4, 3, & Bound the head 
of X by John, Bev. 10, 1.] or the amiable excel- 
lency of G. and the various beautiful Graces & 
virtues of the Sp. These beautiful Colours of the 
sunbeams we find made use of in SS. for this pur- 
pose, viz. to Bepresent the Graces of the Sp., as 68. 
Ps. 13 v. : Tho Ye have lien among the Pots, yet 
shall ye be as the wings of a dove Covered with 

1 The following sentence was inserted later. 


silver & her feathers with yellow gold, i.e. like 
the Light Reflected in various beautiful Colours 
from the Feathers of a dove, which Colours Rep- 
resent the Graces of the Heavenly Dove. The 
same I suppose is signified by the various beauti- 
ful colours Reflected from the Precious stones of 
the breastplate, & that these spiritual ornaments 
of the Chh are what are Represented by the vari- 
ous Colours of the foundation & gates of the new 
Jerusalem, Rev. 21 & Isaiah 54, 11 <fec. — & the 
stones of the Temple, 1 Chron. 29, 2 ; & I believe 
the variety there is in the Rays of the Sun & 
their beautiful Colours was designed by the Crea- 
tor for this very purpose, & Indeed that the 
whole visible Creation which is but the shadow 
of being is so made and ordered by G. as to typ- 
ify & Represent spiritual things, for which I 
could give many reasons. 1 [I dont propose this 
meerly as an hypothesis but as a part of divine 
truth sufficiently & fully ascertained by the Rev- 
elation God has made in the Holy Scriptures.] 2 

[I am sensible what kind of objections many 
will be ready to make against what has been said, 

1 The next sentence is a later addition. 

2 The original treatise appears to end here ; what follows is inde- 
pendently written later, on another sheet. 


what difficulties will be immediately found, How 
can this be % & how can that be ? 

I am far from affording this as any explication 
of this mystery, that unfolds & renews the mys- 
teriousness & incomprehensibleness of it, for I am 
sensible that however by what has been said 
some difficulties are lessened, others that are new 
appear, and the number of those things that ap- 
pear mysterious, wonderful & incomprehensible, 
is increased by it. I offer it only as a farther 
manifestation of what of divine Truth the word 
of G. exhibits to the view of our minds concern- 
ing this great mystery. I think the word of G. 
teaches us more things concerning it to be be- 
lieved by us than have been generally believed, & 
that it exhibits many things concerning it exceed- 
ing [i. e., more] glorious & wonderful than have 
been taken notice of; yea, that it reveals or 
exhibits many more wonderful mysteries than 
those which have been taken notice of; which 
mysteries that have been overvalued are in- 
comprehensible things & yet have been exhibited 
in the word of G., tho they are an addition to 
the number of mysteries that are in it. No 
wonder that the more things we are told con- 
cerning that which is so Infinitely above our 


reach, the number of visible mysteries increases. 
When we tell a child a little concerning God he 
has not an hundreth part so many mysteries in 
view on the nature & attributes of G. & his 
works of Creation & Providence as one that is 
told much concerning God in a divinity school ; 
& yet he knows much more about God & has a 
much clearer understanding of things of Divinity 
& is able more clearly to explicate some things 
that were dark and very unintelligible to him. I 
humbly apprehend that the things that have been 
observed increase the number of visible myste- 
ries in the Godhead in no other manner than as 
by them we perceive that G. has told us much 
more about it then was before generally ob- 
served. Under the Old Testament the Chh. of 
G. were not told near so much about the Trinity 
as they are now. But what the N. T. has re- 
vealed, tho it has more opened to our view the 
nature of God, yet it has increased the number of 
visible mysteries & they thus appear to us ex- 
ceeding wonderfull & incomprehensible. & so 
also it has come to pass in the Chh., being told 
[i. e., that the Churches are told] more about the 
Incarnation & the Satisfaction of X & other 
Gospel doctrines. Tis so not only in divine 


things but natural things. He that looks on a 
plant, or the Parts of the bodies of animals, or 
any other works of nature, at a great distance 
where he has but an obscure sight of it, may see 
something in it wonderfull & beyond his Com- 
prehension, but he that is near to it & views 
them narrowly indeed understands more about 
them, has a clearer and distinct sight of them, & 
yet the number of things that are wonderfull & 
mysterious in them that appear to him are much 
more than before, &, if he views them with a 
microscope, the number of the wonders that he 
sees will be much increased still, but yet the 
microscope gives him more of a true knowledge 
concerning them.] 

God is never said to love the Holy Gh., nor are 
any Epithets that betoken Love any where given 
to him, tho' so many are ascribed to the Son, as 
Gods Elect, The beloved, he in whom Gods soul 
delighteth, he in whom he is well pleased &c. — 
Yea such Epithets seem to be ascribed to the Son 
as tho he were the object of Love exclusive of 
all other Persons, as tho there were no Person 
whatsoever to share the Love of the Father with 
the Son. To this purpose evidently he is called 
Gods only begotten Son, at the time that it is 


added, In whom he is well pleased. There is 
nothing in SS. that speaks of any acceptance of 
the Holy Gh. ? or any Reward or any mutual 
Friendship between the H. Gh. and either of the 
other Persons, or any Command to Love the Holy 
Ghost or to delight in or have any Complacence 
in [the H. G.], tho such commands are so frequent 
with Respect to the other Persons. 

The Son of God] Agreable to the Son of Gods 
being the Wisdom or Understanding of God is 
that Zech. 3, 9, read, For behold the stone that I 
have laid before Joshua ; upon one stone shall be 
seven Eyes. This stone is the Messiah (See Ob- 
servations on the Place in my discourse on the 
Prophecies of the Messiah : Miscel. B. 6.) By 
these Eyes is represented Gods understanding, [as 
shewn] by the explanation which God himself 
gives of it in the next Chap. v. 10. These seven 
are the eyes of the Lord which run to and fro 
through the whole Earth. The seven Eyes, 
being by a wonderfull work of God Graven on 
the stone, a thing in itself very far from sight, 
represents the incarnation of X in uniteing the 
Logos or wisdom of God to that which is in it 
self so weak & blind & infinitely far from di- 
vinity as the Human Nature. The same again is 


represented, Rev. 5, 6, And I beheld & Lo in 
the midst of the Throne and of the four Beasts 
and in the midst of the Elders stood a Lamb as 
it had been slain, having seven horns & seven 
Eyes which are the seven spirits of (rod. The 
plain allusion here to that other place in Zechary 
shews that the stone there spoken of, with seven 
Eyes, is the Messiah, that elsewhere is often 
called a stone. And whereas [i. e. 9 with reason] 
these seven Eyes are said to be the seven spirits 
of God i. e. the Perfect & alsufficient spirit of 
God, for tis by the Holy Spirit that the divine 
nature & the divine Logos or understanding or 
wisdom is united to the human nature. 

That in Rom. 5, 5, The Love of God is shed 
abroad in our Hearts by the Holy Ghost &c. in 
the original is The Love of God is poured out 
into our Hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given 
to us; So that the same representation is made 
of the manner of communicating it that is made 
from time to time to signify the manner of com- 
municating the Spirit of God himself & the same 
expression used to signify it. The Love of God 
is not said to be poured out into our Hearts, in 
any propriety [of speech], any other way than as 
the Holy Spirit which is the Love of God is 


poured out into our Hearts, & it seems to be in- 
timated that it is this way that the Love of God 
is poured out into our Hearts by the words an- 
nexed, by the Holy Ghost which is given to us. 

Holy Ghost. These two Texts illustrate one 
the other : Cant. 1, 4, we will Remember thy Love 
more than Wine, & Eph. 5, 18, Be not drunk 
with wine but be ye filled with the Spirit. 

That Knowledge or understanding in God 
which we must conceive of as first is his Knowl- 
edge of every Thing possible. That Love which 
must be This Knowledge is what we must con- 
ceive of as belonging to the Essence of the God- 
head in its first subsistence. Then comes a Re- 
flex act of Knowledge & his viewing Himself & 
knowing himself & so knowing his own Knowl- 
edge & so the Son is begotten. There is such a 
Thing in God as knowledge of knowledge, an 
Idea of an Idea. Which can be nothing else than 
the Idea or Knowledge repeated. 

The World was made for the Son of God espe- 
cially. For God made the world for Himself 
from Love to Himself; but God loves Himself 
only in a reflex act. He views Himself & so loves 


Himself, so he makes the world for Himself 
viewed & Reflected on, & that is the same with 
Himself repeated or begotten in his own Idea, & 
that is his Son. When God considers of making 
any thing for Himself He presents Himself before 
Himself & views Himself as his End, and that 
viewing Himself is the same as Reflecting on him- 
self or having an Idea of Himself, and to make 
the world for the Godhead thus viewd & under- 
stood is to make the world for the Godhead be- 
gotten & that is to make the world for the Son of 

The Love of God as it flows forth ad extra is 
wholly determined and directed by divine wisdom, 
so that those only are the Objects of it that di- 
vine wisdom chuses, so that the Creation of the 
world is to gratify divine Love as that is exer- 
cised by divine wisdom. But X is divine wisdom, 
so that the world is made to gratify Divine Love 
as exercised by Christ or to gratify the Love that 
is in Xs Heart, or to provide a spouse for X. 
Those creatures which Wisdom chuses for the 
Object of divine Love]as?tXs Elect spouse and es- 
pecially those elect creatures that Wisdom chiefly 
pitches upon & makes the End of the Rest of 




The great trial — one is tempted to call it the tragic 
event — in the career of Edwards was his dismissal from his 
pastoral charge at Northampton, after a service of twenty- 
four years in the ministry there — a dismissal that was 
judged to be expedient by a majority of one in a council of 
ministers and by a large majority of the members of the 
church. It was preceded by a discord which had lasted for 
a number of years. Were we to look up the causes that 
led to this separation, we should have to explore the his- 
tory of the " Great Eevival " and of its consequences. The 
religious movement had deepened in the mind of its chief 
promoter his conviction of the vital importance of the spir- 
itual experience of conversion. This conviction was made 
manifest in successive writings issued by him, including 
his book on the "Religious Affections " (1746). His ob- 
servations during and after the commotion attending the 
Revival naturally inspired him with a more strenuous an- 
tagonism to everything indicative of laxness of morals in 
members of his flock, but it also prompted him to a rising 
antipathy, ending in a determined resistance, to a practice 
which had been formed and publicly defended by his hon- 
ored grandfather and predecessor in office, the revered 
Stoddard, the practice of admitting to the communion of 
the Lord's Supper persons who were free from scandalous 



conduct, and desired this privilege as a step on the road to 
a new spiritual life, which neither they nor the professed 
Christian converts about them recognized as already at- 
tained by them. The point in dispute was whether, in the 
intention of Jesus, the Lord's Supper was a " converting 
ordinance." Edwards took ground resolutely against a 
custom which was ardently approved by most of his pa- 
rishioners, was sanctified in their eyes by the course of their 
previous, venerated pastor, and had spread widely in the 
churches of New England. The outbreaking of the disa- 
greement that ended in the rupture of the pastoral tie and 
the actual exile of Edwards by his own act, as the natural 
result, was an instance of ecclesiastical discipline, set on 
foot by him from the purest motives, but which, in some 
of its incidents, naturally excited earnest and bitter oppo- 
sition among the principal families of his parish. In all 
the transactions provoked at the outset by this initial con- 
tention, however in some particulars Edwards may be 
thought to have erred in judgment, it is undeniable that 
he uniformly acted with entire self-control, dignity and 
freedom from asperity of language and deportment. The 
position that he took was at variance with a fixed, widely 
diffused public opinion on the theological question at 
issue, then the subject of a heated controversy far and 
wide. It is an interesting fact that when the struggle at 
Northampton had become a thing of the past one of the 
foremost leaders there of the party hostile to Edwards 
openly and penitently confessed to him his remorse for his 
temper and conduct during the contest, imploring and 
receiving forgiveness for it. It is, also, an historic fact 
worthy of note that the ground taken by Edwards on the 
question of the qualifications requisite for full communion 


with the visible church came to be sanctioned by the New 
England churches generally, and to be regarded by them 
as an essential part of their ecclesiastical system. The 
Half- Way Covenant, which he opposed, was condemned. 
Much, therefore, as Edwards suffered for his conscientious 
defence of his opinion in writings and in pastoral adminis- 
tration, the issue was the victory of his cause on what was 
the extended theatre of the conflict. 



In the letter to the Trustees of Princeton College, 
Edwards refers first to the temporal inconveniences to him- 
self and his family which an acceptance of their offer would 
involve. But his main objection is said to be his "own 
defects," viz., a constitution which begets ef a low tide of 
spirits," with a bashful, retiring manner, a taciturn way, 
" with a disagreeable dullness and stiffness much unfitting " 
him for conversation and for such business as the govern- 
ment of a college. Then comes an interesting statement of 
his method of study and the great accumulation, conse- 
quent upon it, of materials in the form of notes, in great 
part records of his own thoughts. Finally he speaks of 
his schemes for the composition of various works, several 
of which, in a preliminary form, saw the light subsequently 

to his death. 



Edwards was apparently acquainted with Augustine's 
conception of the imagery of the Trinity in the human 



mind, although it does not appear that he had read the 
Latin Father's treatise on the Trinity. Augustine sets 
forth his, view in varying forms. One of them, a concise 
expression, is the following. 1 These three, memory, in- 
telligence, will ; since there are not three lives (vitce), hut 
one life (vita), nor three minds but one mind (mens), it 
follows that there are not three substances, but one sub- 
stance (substantia). Elsewhere, as an equivalent of in- 
telligence (intelligentia) he uses the words, "interna 
visio/' and as an equivalent of will (voluntas) in this con- 
nection, he uses love (caritas). He says that the mind 
[1] " remembers itself," " recollects by means of memory," 
[2] "knows itself," "by means of intelligence beholds," 
[3] "embraces (amplectitur) through love," and "if love, 
by which the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the 
Father, demonstrates in an inexpressible manner the com- 
munion of both, what more suitable (convenientius) than 
that He who is the Spirit common to both should be styled 
Love." "Mind remembers itself, knows itself, loves it- 
self ; if thus we discern, trinity we discern." 



President Woolsey, in the commemorative discourse 
which he delivered in 1870 at the meeting of the descend- 
ants of Edwards — of whom he was one — mingles with full 
appreciation of his mental and moral qualities and his 
influence, touches of just criticism. A number of the 
points to which he adverts, I had anticipated before 

2 LX., 18. 


recurring to his address, but I mention them on account of 
his aptitude of expression. Dr. Woolsey speaks of the clear- 
ness and penetration of the intellect of Edwards, his high 
standard in all things and his sense of spiritual beauty, 
his union of the traits of the Apostles Paul and John, his 
devotion to biblical study in connection with abstract rea- 
soning, his almost feminine tenderness united with mascu- 
line vigor and firmness, the blending of principle and feel- 
ing in his religious character, his severe, almost excessive 
self-criticism. But Dr. Woolsey, in his discriminating 
estimate of Edwards, expresses the feeling that there was 
" too much repression of natural qualities in the endeavor 
after a perfect conformity of will and soul to the will 
of God. ... He and others of the best Puritans of 
New England ... in the struggle of the human soul 
to rise above earthly things ... as a ship in a storm 
throws away some of its less essential freight .... 
sacrificed what is akin to the human for converse with the 
divine. ... To unite the two is perfection : so they 
reached it only on one side." Proofs are given by Dr. 
Woolsey of the unsurpassed impressiveness of Edwards as a . 
preacher in his day in New England. Dr. Woolsey recog- 
nizes his great theological influence, but of the modifica- 
tions of theology among his followers which sprung up in 
New England from his example and influence, he remarks, 
"they carried practical views borrowed from him to an 
extreme, as in the point of disinterested benevolence. In 
all this I seem to see several new tendencies impressed on 
religious life. Eirst there is a tendency in a greater 
degree toward the subjective in religion. This is good, 
but when it impels the mind into self-analysis and con- 
tinued examination of motives, may end in great evil. 


Again there is a tendency to greater activity in religious 
life." This Dr. Woolsey ascribes "to the putting of be- 
nevolence as a leading idea into the place which faith tool*: 
among earlier Protestants; and hence spring with the same 
ease the thousand efforts to do good which have emanated 
in New England." 

Whoever ponders the foregoing observations of Dr. 
Woolsey may see his way to a better understanding than is 
common of the Unitarian movement and the division 
attending it in the New England churches. Edwards, if 
he was a great promoter, was also a discriminating critic, 
of Eevivals. They spread under the t( auspices "of the New 
England school that succeeded him. Edwards himself was 
not blind to the ethical as well as the heavenward rela- 
tions of "love to being in general." As concerned his 
own feelings and outward conduct, he was reverently at- 
tentive to the precepts of the Sermon on the Mount. At 
length a more vivid sense of the humane bearings of 
the principle of benevolence arose. A reaction appeared 
against what was deemed an excessive interest in religious 
emotions, which was thought to leave too far in the back- 
ground the claims that belong to the duties and services 
of the life here below. The natural brotherhood of man, 
as well as the moral brotherhood of believers in Christ, the 
natural paternity of the Eather, as well as His moral 
Fatherhood in relation to believers, excited a new interest. 
It is always possible, on the one hand, to forget what in- 
junction is the first and great command, or, on the other, 
to forget that the second is like unto, or of a piece with, 
the same.